12 ways to prevent shack fires

Most fires are caused by lack of thought, concentration or carelessness. Cigarettes, lighters, candles, heating appliances and equipment such as electric blankets can all be lethal if not carefully monitored.  

Here are some things you can do to prevent shack fires:

1. Keep a close eye on paraffin stoves. Don’t cook near a window with a curtain.

2. Make sure the stove does not fall over, which may cause a fire and burn children.

3. Make sure candles cannot fall over. Don’t go to sleep with candles still burning.

4. Watch out for discarded cigarette butts.

5. Be aware of the dangers of illegal and faulty electricity connections, which also cause fires

6. Keep a bucket handy to fill with water so that you can extinguish flames easily

7. Keep a bucket of sand to put out paraffin fires

8. Build dwellings a good distance (at least 3m) apart to prevent fires from spreading. Make sure this space is kept open

9. Teach children about the dangers of fire.

10. Keep roads and access to dwellings clear at all times

11. Do not block roads with possessions when there is a fire

12. Do not prevent or disrupt the work of fire crews fighting fires – By City of Cape Town


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