Fire safety

Contrary to public opinion, the Fire Department should not solve problems like getting a cat down a tree! In fact fire fighters are trained to save lives. Educate children about what firefighters do, the dangers of fires and what to do in the event of a fire.

Fire fighters assist with the following emergency services:
1. Putting out fires; in homes, buildings or outdoor areas.
2. Saving lives during natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes.
3. Freeing people trapped in a confined space such as a building.
4. Assisting and freeing vehicle crash victims.
5. Structural collapses such as bridges.
6. Water emergencies such as someone drowning in a dam, river or pool.
7. Retrieving vehicles such as cars in rivers.
8. Clean up of hazardous chemical or medical spills.
9. Acting as paramedics.

In case of fire, teach your children:
• Immediately stop, drop, and roll. Crawl to prevent smoke inhalation and try to get to an exit point. Protect faces with hands or clothing.
• Call for help by shouting or signaling. If you have cell phone access, call the fire department number – South Africa is 10711. Be persistent.
• Explain the incident and communicate the address.
If trapped in a room, put cloth material such as jackets or blankets around and under the door, to prevent smoke from entering the room. Try to wet them. Close as many doors as possible to protect against fire. Try to phone or signal for help. Don’t smash windows as oxygen will enter the room and fuel the fire.
• Be cautious of hot doors and handles, signaling a fire on the other side. Try to find another exit.
• If you do get away, run well away from the fire to safety.
• If you have not called for help, go to a neighbour or someone else nearby that can assist.

Prevention is better than cure:
1. Remind children about the dangers of fires.
2. Don’t let children play with matches or firelighters.
3. Do fire drills at home.
4. Use LED candles.
5. Don’t smoke indoors.
6. Don’t leave heaters on when you are not in the room. Keep them away from curtains.
7. Don’t leave pots/pans unattended on the stove.
8. Invest in a fire extinguisher and learn to use it.
9. Install a smoke detector in your house.

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux is a mother of a teen and a 12 year old. She has worked in teaching, the corporate environs and publishing. She is also the author of Checklist Parenting, aimed at parents of young school going children. The handbook offers parenting checklists, covering a range of topics, in a well laid out, easy to read format


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