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FIRE SAFETY TIPS

Check Your Smoke Alarms

  1. Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly.
  2. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area and in each bedroom.
  3. Consider installing a smoke alarm that has a good battery.

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

  1. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
  2. As part of your plan, designate one person to get infants and small children out safely. Have a back-up plan for young children just in case the primary person is overcome by smoke.
  3. Smoke is toxic. Teach children to “get low and go” if there is smoke when they are leaving the home.
  4. Practice feeling the door, doorknob and cracks around the door with the back of your hand to see if they are too hot. Help your children practice this step.
  5. Choose a place to meet outside that is a safe distance away from your home.

In an Emergency, Leave Home Immediately

  1. In the event of a fire, leave your home immediately. Once you’re out of the house, stay out.
  2. Wait to call the Fire Department until after you are out of the home.

If You Live in an Apartment, Pull the Alarm

  1. If there is a fire and you don’t hear the building’s fire alarm, pull the nearest fire alarm “pull station” on your way out.
  2. Know all of your building’s fire escape exits and use the stairs to get out. Don’t use the elevator.

If You’re Stuck Inside, Cover the Areas Where Smoke Might Come In

  1. If you cannot safely escape your home or apartment, keep smoke out of the room by covering vents and cracks around the door, and call the SAPS 10111or your fire department as quickly as possible.
  2. Then signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.

Keep Flammable Materials in Safe Areas

  1. Remember to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, and always closely supervise children and pets when the heater is turned on.
  2. Make sure you turn heaters off when you leave the room.
  3. If using gasoline or paraffin powered devices, store it in a locked location where children cannot access it. Keep only small quantities in an approved container that has child safety features.

Don’t Over Plug

  1. To prevent possible fires, avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.

Stay Focused Around the Kitchen

  1. Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don’t leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
  2. Keep anything that can catch fire, such as dish towels or wooden spoons, away from your stovetop.
  3. Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency, and make sure you know how it works. You might be surprised that most people don’t know how to use one.

Install Barriers Such as Safety Gates Around Fireplaces, Ovens and Furnaces

  1. Make sure your fireplace is protected by a sturdy screen. Remember that glass screens can take a long time to cool down.
  2. If you are using a fireplace make sure you burn only seasoned hardwood such as oak, ash or maple.
  3. If small children live in or visit your home, use a safety gate around your fireplace.

Blow Out Candles and Store Matches Out of Reach

  1. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and always blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.
  2. Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
  3. Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.

Fight fire with fire, Mbalula tells the police

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, right, welcomes the newly appointed Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, centre, and his deputy, Bongani Mkongi, in Pretoria. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Pretoria – New Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula urged members of the SAPS on Tuesday to fight fire with fire.

The former sport and recreation minister said the relationship between the department and criminals would be like “chalk and cheese”.

“We are not going to be soft on criminals. Police officers must fight fire with fire,” he said.

Mbalula made this promise during a parade to mark his official welcome to the Police Ministry at the SAPS Academy in Pretoria West.

He was accompanied by his deputy Bongani Mkongi.

“When President Jacob Zuma appointed us, he said we must mobilise our people to work with the police to fight and defeat crime,” Mbalula said, adding fighting and beating crime was their mandate.

“No police officer will die in vain; anyone who kills a police officer will be met with fire. I am not saying shoot-to-kill, but shoot back. You have guns; use them to protect yourselves and communities.”

Mbalula urged communities to work together with the police to fight crime. He also urged the police to be honest and not be on the payroll of criminals. “Minister Gigaba (finance minister Malusi Gigaba), said the police budget must be increased so we can fight crime,” he said.

Mbalula was also critical of the tendency by communities to destroy infrastructure during protests.

He said students and every citizen were allowed to protest, but should not destroy property.

Mkongi called for police officers’ salaries to be increased. “If we want to beat the negative morale of police officers, we must pay them well so they could do their jobs.”

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said SAPS members were willing and committed to take guidance and direction from Mbalula in the execution of their work.

Mbalula said he would focus on places like Sunnyside as criminals had captured the city.

He said they planned roadshows to get first-hand experience on challenges faced by police.

Pretoria News

ARMED ROBBERS STORM CHILD’S PARTY AT SANDTON FIRE STATION

JOHANNESBURG – Parents who were victims of a robbery at a children’s party at the Sandton Fire Department on Saturday say they believe they were intentionally targeted.

A group of about 35 children and 40 adults were held at gunpoint during the party and jewellery and other valuables were taken from them.

Johannesburg Emergency Services has confirmed the incident and say police are investigating.
Parents say they feel violated that they were targeted while at their most vulnerable. It’s understood the CCTV cameras weren’t working, the perpetrators knew there was a party at the venue, there were no firemen on site and the person manning the call room claimed to not have a panic button, airtime or the police’s phone number.

One man says he tried to call 10111 three times during the incident, but the number went unanswered.

“I saw one of the fathers diving for cover and then I looked up and saw a guy coming towards us with a gun. We just gathered the kids. The guy came and took
earrings from one of the ladies. When I noticed he wasn’t around I took out my phone and tried to phone 10111.”

Johannesburg Emergency Services says it’s reserving its comment on the allegations while police investigations are underway.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)