|The time to get fire savvy is now, says ADT|
|04 July 2011|
The horrific fire at Struisbult Care Centre, in Springs, on 12 June has once again highlighted the importance of fire awareness in homes and commercial properties.
ADT Reaction Officer Ronald Lesese was on patrol on the night of the fire and while driving past Struisbult, found a woman standing at the main gate of the care centre looking stranded. He immediately stopped to check whether she needed assistance of any kind and was told there was smoke coming out of a section of the centre. He drove around the block and could see that the northern side of the building was on fire. He immediately notified the ADT control room which in turn notified the fire brigade. The fire department stated they were aware of the fire and were enroute.
Roy Rawlins, Managing Director of ADT Central Region says: “We were all devastated to hear that 12 people had died in the incident. Fire can cause tremendous devastation and we caution all residents to be vigilant, particularly with winter upon us. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can rage out of control and escalate into a major fire. If and when this happens, it is not only the flames that present a danger, but the heat and harmful gas emitted can often be even more life threatening,” he says.
We are heading into a high danger period for fires because of electricity shortages, drier and more static air, overloading of power sockets and home fires. “People need to be aware of this potential danger and should ensure their homes and businesses are equipped, firstly to detect a fire and, secondly, to deal with one should a fire break out.”
Rawlins believes that residents should consider installing a carbon monoxide fire detector in their homes. “Residents never believe a fire could break out in their home, until one does and by then the effects are devastating.” Having a smoke detector is a safe, effective, and unobtrusive way of protecting a home or business against the dangers of fire. It acts as an early warning detection service of a potential fire hazard. The detector will not pick up a naked flame but rather smoke or a smoldering fire. This, believes Rawlins, is a key preventative measure that people should consider installing into their homes or businesses.
“If the detector is linked to an armed response service such as ADT, an alarm notification will be sent to the control room when smoke is detected. Upon verification, either by the control centre or reaction officer, contact will be made with the nearest fire department and any key holders., This early call to action could save your life,” says Rawlins.
He offers the following important tips on fire safety and encourages parents to speak to their children about these tips:
“Remember, in a fire emergency every second counts. Getting the fire department to the property as soon as possible is crucial. It is also very important that the fire department can access the property when they arrive so ensure your security provider, neighbour or someone nearby has keys or a gate remote control to enable access. Education is also key, so ensure all members of the household or business are aware of the fire drill procedures before an emergency occurs,” Rawlins concludes.