Preventing and dealing with a fire

Fire moves and spreads quickly. In fact, it generally takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to escalate into a major fire.

Business and homeowners need to be aware of the potential dangers of fire and ensure that their homes and businesses are equipped, not only to detect a fire but, also to ensure that everyone on the premises knows how to deal with a fire if one should break out.

“It is important to realise that it is not only the flames that present a danger when a fire breaks out. The heat and harmful gas emitted can often be even more life threatening,” said Theunis Kotze, ADT general manager inland region.

He offers the following important tips on fire safety and encourages business owners and parents to share these with everyone working or residing on the premises:

* Do not overload electrical sockets or run electrical cords under carpets.

* Develop and practice an escape plan; plan two ways out of every room.

* Display your local fire department telephone number near the phone, then memorise it.

* If you smell or see smoke, crawl on the floor to the nearest exit.

* Never open a door that is hot to the touch.

* Alert or wake everybody in the building as quickly as possible.

* If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop and roll.

* Never re-enter the premises for personal belongings.

* Only tackle the fire if it is safe to do so.

Kotze stressed that every business and household should be equipped with at least smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket.

“There are products to suit every budget and, for a minimal investment, you will have a valuable early-warning system and the means to get a minor fire under control. We also highly recommend that you link your smoke detectors to an armed response service to ensure that the necessary help will be dispatched in the event of an emergency,” Kotze concluded.

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