Winter Fire Safety
With winter on our doorstep, the Emergency Services Department would like to proactively share important safety hints when using heating appliances (such as gas and electric heaters) to keep warm during the looming cold season.
The Emergency Services has observed through experience that many fires in businesses, houses, outbuildings and shacks in winter are caused by negligence from people occupying the property. An ignorant or careless mistake can start a fire that can get out of control quickly. It is thus important to know the correct number to call for urgent professional help.
The following are the safety tips residents need to adhere to:
For gas appliances
Liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) is a flexible, fast, clean, portable and powerful energy in a cylinder and can be used for cooking, heating, refrigeration and lighting.
Gas cylinders used in the everyday environment range from 3 kg to 48 kg. The law dictates that a maximum of 19 kg is allowed to be kept inside a house and a maximum of 9 kg in a flat.
SANS 10087 part 1 of 2013 describes the requirements for the handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of LP gas in domestic, commercial and industrial installations. Section 188.8.131.52(a, b) of this standard, describes the indoor location required for LP gas containers.
Cylinders larger than 19 kg must be stored outside. For safety purposes, a lockable steel cage is recommended. The cage should have signage indicating that gas is flammable and that no open flames may be near the cage.
Any fixed installation may only be undertaken by a properly trained and registered LP gas installer. The installer must advise the user on the safe use of the appliance and issue a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) on completion of the installation. (See www.saqccgas.co.za for a list of registered installers.)
Portable gas heaters are popular for household use and extreme caution must be exercised once it is securely connected to a gas bottle and ready for use. All extra gas cylinders must be stored outside the house and inside a ventilated cage. Emergency personnel attending to any fire incident must be informed of any cylinders on your premises.
Safety at home