With the festive season upon us, many people will be travelling away from their homes for the holiday, or having their loved ones over to celebrate the festive season around the Christmas tree or a dinner or lunch table to share a few meals.
No matter what it is that you have planned, it is important that you ensure you have basic fire-risk mitigation measures in place to protect your home, yourself as well as your loved ones.
Here are a few fire-risk mitigation measures which you can put in place in your home ahead of the festive season:
Conduct a proper fire-safety check
If you are planning on going away, it is best to conduct a proper fire-safety check of your home before the family departs. This will reveal any potential fire-risk areas, allowing home owners to develop and implement specific solutions.
Check your electrical appliances
It is important to regularly check if all of these connections are still sound.
Simple preventative measures include not overloading extension cables and plugs, not switching electrical appliances on a single plug on all at once, testing earth leakage devices, and checking that plugs and wall sockets are safe and not overloaded.
Test the earth leakage on the distribution board
Test the earth leakage on the distribution board (DB) before going away on holiday by simply pressing the “TEST” button. The earth leakage is designed to trip the electrical supply and de-energise the circuit whenever there is a short circuit.
A faulty earth leakage will not trip when there is a short, resulting in electrical cables overheating, causing the plastic insulation to burn and resulting in a preventable fire.
Turn off your appliances during load shedding
When it comes to load shedding, the fire risk is mainly due to appliances such as irons, hair dryers, cookers and heaters inadvertently being left on.
After electricity supply is restored following load shedding, such appliances are likely left unattended as residents are either asleep or may even have forgotten that they have been left on.