How to prevent shack fires

Keep a close eye on paraffin stoves. Don’t cook near a window with a curtain.

Make sure the stove doesn’t fall over, which may burn children or cause a fire.

Make sure candles are secure and can’t fall over. Don’t go to sleep with candles still burning.

Teach children about the dangers of fire.

Watch out for discarded cigarette butts.

Be aware of the dangers of illegal and faulty electricity connections, which also cause fires.

Keep a bucket handy to fill with water so that you can extinguish flames easily.

Keep a bucket of sand to put out paraffin fires.

Build dwellings a good distance (at least 3m) apart to prevent fires from spreading. Make sure this space is kept open.

Keep roads and access to dwellings clear at all times

Do not block roads with possessions when there is a fire

Do not prevent or disrupt the work of fire crews fighting fires.

Fighting fires

Always call for the City’s Fire and Rescue Services via 107 before you make any attempt to fight a fire yourself.

If your clothing catches fire: Start the stop, drop and roll procedure:

Stop where you are

Drop to the floor

Roll around on the floor

This will smother the flames and save your life.

If another person catches fire, smother the flames by wrapping him or her in a blanket, carpet or rug.

Using electricity safely

Do not overload your electrical circuits – in other words, don’t keep more than four plugs on one extension.

Service your electrical components regularly and replace faulty ones.

Switch off all electrical appliances at the wall at night or when leaving your home.

When you are cooking (on any sort of stove), do not leave the pot on the stove unless you are watching it.

Electrical connections must be professionally installed and properly earthed with the correct circuit breakers installed.