Sometimes it takes bad news, like the recent series of fires on Mahé or the fire at Grenfell Tower in London earlier this year, to remember how important it is to protect our families and homes from fires. It is easy to forget the harm and destruction that past fires have caused while we try to manage our busy lives.
To help refresh our memories, public relations officer Jones Madeleine at the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA) shares some knowledge, advice and home fire safety tips.
“Since January this year, the fire service has recorded quite a number of fires and this is very alarming. Most of these cases are due to negligence or are accidental fires and we cannot rule out the cases of arson also. In some cases fire has destroyed part or even the whole house/building. In some houses, there were some minor damage as fires were detected early and extinguished at an early stage.”
It is important to be aware of the various ways in which home fires can be started. Some examples are fire in frying pans, in electrical extensions, in household appliances like washing machines, dispensers and ovens or in fuse or breaker boxes.
In order to avoid a fire incident at home, the following are some preventative measures that can be taken:
- Switch off all electrical equipment that are not in use
- Do not overload an extension or adaptor
- Ensure adequate supervision during any cooking activity
- Ensure that electrical wiring, plugs and sockets are in good condition; that they are not overloaded and are adequately protected by fuses or other devices
- Do not burn rubbish too close to the house
In the event that a fire is discovered, the following steps should be taken:
- Raise the alarm
- Alert the Fire Brigade (999) (4 28 99 99) (112) (4 32 32 42)
- Extinguish the fire with appropriate equipment without putting yourself at risk
- Evacuate the premise
- Proceed to the fire assembly point (a safe area where everyone can assemble together)
Having fire detection and fire-fighting equipment at home is recommended. These can be purchased at the Liquid Air (Seychelles) Ltd and Presafe Services Ltd, where fire extinguishing services and a wide range of safety equipment are provided. These include alarm bells, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, hose reels and emergency lights.
The SFRSA conducts sensitisation talks at district level, for which they do not see so many residents.
“We are encouraging residents to attend such programmes. The talks are in both theory and practical, where we show them how to deal with a small fire at home,” says Mr Madeleine.
For further information, the SFRSA can be contacted on 428 99 99 or 432 32 42.
Source : Seychelles Nation