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JOHANNESBURG'S emergency management services (EMS) warns all residents in Johannesburg about the danger of fire during winter. A logical, simple, easy-to-follow plan can save lives as well as property worth millions of rand.

Every household should have a “safety check plan”. The person who is the last to leave the house should enter each and every room to make sure that all appliances are switched off and unplugged. The same procedure should be repeated before bed.

Fire prevention tips:

Only SABS-approved electrical and/or cooking apparatus should be used.
Heaters, two-plate stoves and so on, should only be used for their intended purposes, as per the instruction manual.
Do not leave candles burning unattended.
Experience has shown that in informal settlements – though this can also be the case in brick and mortar structures – people tend to disregard even the smallest detail regarding fire safety by warming themselves using primus stoves and braziers (mbawulas), only to fall asleep and their homes go up in flames.
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation.
In case of emergency, call 10177 or 112.
Everyone is welcome to volunteer at a fire station in Johannesburg of his/her choice. Life skills acquired through such volunteering can be used in life-saving situations. A well-trained volunteer can perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on victims of drowning and smoke inhalation. They can also train members of their own communities to be life-savers.

Children should be closely monitored, especially around the house.

Fire sources such as heaters, stoves and irons should not be left unattended.
Boxes of matches and cigarette lighters should be stored safely.
Children like to experiment – always trying this and that. Their actions can have dire consequences, not only to your home but to the whole community.
Lastly, make sure that your house is properly ventilated; there must always be enough fresh air. This will prevent winter-related airborne diseases.