Take note of these tips to stay safe this winter

Keep safe this winter to lessen any home fires.

District manager and media liaison officer for Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS), William Ntladi, said that heating yourself this winter deserves proper preparation to lessen any danger.

Ntladi said when using a space heater keep it on the floor and keep it away from anything flammable.

He said that the heater should not be left unmonitored or left switched on when nobody is present.

Do not place heaters close to carpets, rugs or any flammable liquids.

Do not use heaters to dry wet clothing either.

Ntladi said that if you are using a fuel heater, always keep a window open to let out any carbon monoxide that may deplete oxygen.

Not utilising heaters safely can result in fires.

Never use such heaters in enclosed areas.

“All unvented fuel-fired heaters should be equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS),” said Ntladi.

“The ODS will shut off the heater if it detects a reduced level of oxygen where the heater is being used.”

For natural gas or propane-fired space heaters, Ntladi said you should always remember to turn off all controls of the heater and open the window and exit if you smell gas.

Ntladi mentions that propane gas takes a while to dissolve in the air and you should not touch any electrical switches or appliances.

Also read: Tuesday Life Hack: Get ready for winter with these simple hacks

He said you should also not smoke near propane gas as any spark could ignite it.

When using an electric heater use a direct outlet rather than an extension cord as that may result in overheating or a fire.

Ntladi also warns against using an electric heater close to a wet area, such as a bathroom or kitchen floor as this is a shock hazard.

According to Ntladi, there are still a number of people who use braziers or coal stoves to keep warm in winter, which can result in a killer gas such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide.

They are not easily detected, therefore, the use of a carbon monoxide detector is highly recommended.

When using a coal stove or brazier, always remember to keep a door or window open and never sleep with it on.

This also applies when using a fireplace.

Ntladi recommends that one should take the time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

This is the best way to detect smoke and signal an alarm for you and your family to get to safety.

Ntladi said the detector will alert you to dangerous gases.

It should be tested monthly to check whether it is in proper working condition.

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Brakpan Herald

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