Educating the public on safety tips regarding fires is of vital importance to the George Municipality.
With the winter season here and many citizens lighting fires and using electrical appliances for warmth, the danger for accidents is much higher. George Fire Brigade warns that everyone should always be mindful when using objects that may cause fires. Be careful when smoking cigarettes, using matches, lighters, candles, heating appliances, cooking appliances, and equipment such as electric blankets.
To keep George safe, the George Fire Brigade plays an integral role, being at all times prepared to combat any types of fires and to educate the public on safety tips regarding fires and preventative measures. To make it easier for the public to contact them in an emergency situation the George Fire Brigade now has a dedicated telephone number 044 801 6311 which links the public directly to the control room.
The George Fire Brigade is continuously exploring innovative options for improving their ability to extinguish fires more rapidly and so doing to prevent damage to property and loss of life. Mr. Barend Nelson, Senior Manager: Emergency Services and Maintenance, says that the primary task of the fire brigade is to extinguish fires as early and effectively as possible in order to save human and animal life and property. Nelson also indicated that it is their responsibility to identify the risks in any given fire situation and to immediately figure out ways to minimise the danger.
George Fire Brigade also performs other regular responsibilities like ensuring that all fire hydrants are clearly marked and in working condition. They regularly provide lectures and demonstrations to the public, and especially schools on a regular basis, to inform the community of the preventative measures to be taken.
Mr Nelson provided a few safety tips for the public to keep in mind and emphasized that the safety tips are not only for people living in informal houses, but should be adhered to by all people who live in any dwelling:
• When building informal houses, remember they should be at least 3 meters apart – be also careful of building informal structures against formal housing.
• Put out all candles and lamps before you go to sleep or leave your home.
• Smoking in bed is dangerous.
• Homes need more than one exit to escape from fire – this is not normally found in informal dwellings.
• 5. Keep matches, lighters, paraffin and poisons safe and out of reach of children.
• Keep stoves on a flat surface and away from drafts and other combustible materials that can burn easily.
• Stoves should never be left unattended.
• KEEP a bucket of sand or water ready for small fires but don’t put your life in danger.
• Use sand for paraffin fires as water cause the fire to spread further and faster.
• Turn off the electricity mains before trying to put out an electrical fire.
• If a gas stove starts burning, act fast, turn off the gas if possible, if you are unable to turn off the gas, get out of the building quickly.
• Know your emergency number – George Fire Brigade 044 8016311
• When you call the fire brigade give your full physical address.
• If you are inside a burning building, crawl on the floor to reduce smoke inhalation and try to escape.
• Help people to get out as quickly as possible and prevent anyone from returning into the building.
• Keep roads clear so that fire fighting vehicles can get to you quickly.