Handle fire with care in the cold

Image: 123RF/Thuansak Srilao

The winter season is upon us and I am warning people to take extra precautionary measures after having recently completed a fire-fighting course.

We depend on fire for cooking, keeping ourselves warm, house chores, entertainment etc, but it can turn deadly when not supervised and used correctly.

It is during this time of the year where hundreds of people are left homeless, some with third-degree burns. It's not the flame that is very dangerous but the smoke as it reduces visibility.

Children are the ones who are always vulnerable because they need close supervision at all times as they are not capable of making wise judgements and want to always touch anything within their reach.

Matches and lighters must be kept safely and as far away as possible as these are fire-igniters. As much as we are not all as privileged to attend fire-fighting courses, it's important to prevent fires from occurring.

Fires are different from one to the other and one must be knowledgeable about methods and extinguishers to use when attacking them once they start. You can use water to kill a wood and paper fire but you can't use water to kill an electrical fire; you have to use a powder extinguisher or sand to kill it.

As much as we want to keep ourselves warm, be careful of overloading plugs as they contribute to starting fires.

Prevention is better than cure.

McDivett Khumbulani Tshehla,
Halfway House

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