How To... Handle Common Household Emergencies

Your Family|March 2020

How To... Handle Common Household Emergencies
There’s nothing worse than being woken up in the middle of the night by a loud burst coming from the geyser, or coming home to a rainforest in your kitchen. However, the quicker you respond, the less damage will be caused. Here are some useful tips
Nolwazi Dhlamini

FIRE

Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during winter and the second leading cause of them year-round, after cooking. Half of all home fire deaths occur at night, so fire hazard checks should become habitual before going to bed. When not in use, this equipment should always be disconnected and stored away out of children’s reach. ‘Almost every household uses some sort of electric heater, fireplace or fuel-fired heater. You should ensure that all heating equipment is properly maintained and fit for the job,’ stresses Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance.

DO THIS IN AN EMERGENCY:

In case of a kitchen fire: For a small grease fire, remove the pot or pan from the hot plate and turn off the stove immediately. Pour baking soda or salt into the pan, then cover the flames with a metal lid for 15-20 minutes, or until the fire’s contained. Never pour water over an oil fire or try to move the pot or pan outside. For an oven fire, switch the oven off and keep its door closed. In both cases, if the fire persists, get everyone out of the house, closing the door behind you, and call the fire department.

HOW TO AVOID DAMAGE:

Get smoke alarms put in throughout your home. They’re inexpensive and easy to install. Once installed, have them checked regularly and ensure the batteries are kept charged.

Buy a fire extinguisher from a reputable dealer and keep it near the kitchen or a convenient spot in the house that everyone can access quickly.

Switch off and unplug all electrical appliances that aren’t in use and don’t overload any single power source.

Never leave heaters, electric blankets or stoves unattended.

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March 2020