Lack of safety awareness puts communities at the mercy of winter fires

How safe is YOUR home?

Your home should be your refuge, a place you most feel safe in. Many people put in burglars and alarm systems to achieve this. However, behind those systems inside our homes lurks a serious and sinister energy that can destroy our homes, if we do not take preventative measures? This enemy is fire and related energy linked incidents. As winter starts to bite, increases in household fires have been reported. While energy is the lifeline of all in the country, the emphasis on the responsible usage of energy has been increasingly neglected by many. With multiple energy sources that are over-utilised during winter such as paraffin, gas, coal, firewood, candles and electricity – there is a need for people to know what to do to prevent fires and other energy related incidents from happening “Fortunately, the Household Energy Safety Association of South Africa (HESASA), has a solution”, says Patrick Kulati, its CEO, “and if people put these into use, a lot of homes and lives would be saved”. They include

  1. Have a household emergency plan!
  •  Practice the plan together
  • Practice making an emergency call.
  1. Keep energy safety rules and routines!

• Make sure all your appliances have passed safety tests. • Use appliances safely and maintain them correctly. • Keep flammable materials far away from ON appliances. • Turn OFF all appliances when not in use, before going to bed, or when leaving the home.

  1. Keep children safe!
  • NEVER leave children alone with a burning candle or ON appliances.

•    Store ALL dangerous substances UP and AWAY where children cannot reach them. •    Teach children NOT TO TOUCH matches, lighters, fires, fuels, switches, plugs, appliances. Kulati concluded by saying that “Awareness of the importance of the safe usage of energy at a grassroots level can have a phenomenal ripple effect” Author: Patrick Kulati is the Chief Executive Officer of the  Household Energy Safety Association of South Africa

About HESASA

Formerly the Paraffin Safety Association of South Africa (PASASA), which aimed at preventing paraffin related incidents, HESASA focuses on promoting the safety of all household energy sources and technologies used in the home for cooking, heating and lighting in all communities.

HESASA was formed after extensive research into the South African energy sector, which realized that the focus on integrated energy safety in households was limited. HESASA’s approach is evidence-based and prevention-focused. We research, educate and advocate on household energy safety across South Africa.