With the cold front expected to hit Gauteng from this afternoon into the weekend, the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) is warning residents to use heating devices safely.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued a level 2 warning of bitterly cold conditions with the possibility of disruptive rain from Friday.
BE SAFE IN THIS WEATHER
Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 13 degrees in Johannesburg.
City of Joburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi has warned residents to use heating devices safely.
“With the temperatures dropping, residents will resort to using heating devices to keep warn. Devices like heaters, paraffin stoves, candles, imbawula or brazier.
He warned residents not to leave these heating devices unattended to prevent fire incidents from occurring.
Mulaudzi said the winter season is always a busy time for them with quite a number of fires they attend to.
“Most of our fire incidents occur in vulnerable areas because most of the people use the old traditional heating devices.”
Furthermore, when load shedding is implemented, the EMS sees an increase in the number of fires in residential areas.
The unsafe use of candles in the homes is a problem because some people use beer or plastic bottles as candle holders, even teacups, explained Mulaudzi.
Tips to keep warm over the weekend:
- Enjoy warm and hearty meals like homemade soups and curries.
- Get active and do some exercise, but don’t walk your dog when the pavement temperatures are very low.
- Keep all pets inside during the cold weather.
- Protect your pet’s sleeping space from the wind and rain and provide additional bedding.
- Keep the cold air out of the house by using towels or other items to cover the gaps at the bottom of external doors.
Tips for keeping warm during load-shedding:
- If you have gas heaters, ensure the bottles are full.
- Keep an eye on the load-shedding schedule so you can plan when to cook meals, make flasks of hot tea and have a warm bath.
- If you have children, turn a possible cold and dark evening into a fun adventure by ‘camping’ indoors. Use a tent if you have one, use sleeping bags and tell funny stories to each other.
- Dress in layers which will trap body heat.
- Don’t use alcohol to keep warm.