Citizens Urged To Help Prevent Uncontrolled Wild Fires This Dry Season
Uncontrolled wild fires are common during the dry and windy season and this poses a threat to property, life and the natural environment. According to the Eswatini National Fire and Emergency Services, the danger that comes with uncontrolled wildfires is higher in the urban areas due to the urban sprawl. Today’s article seeks to sensitize city citizens against practices that have a potential to result in the breakout of wildfires. According to Communications Officer in the Eswatini National Fire and Emergency Services, Mandla Dlamini, most incidents of wildfire are caused by human behavior – either intentionally or unintentionally. Citizens are urged to practice preventative measures in order to protect the environment, life and property.
- DO NOT USE FIRE FOR REMOVAL OF OVERGROWTH
During the dry season it is a common occurrence within urban areas to burn vegetation overgrowth; be it by the property owner or neighbouring residents. According to the Eswatini National Fire and Emergency Services, most uncontrolled wildfires in urban areas are caused by such practices. Whilst it is a requirement that property owners always keep their plots well maintained with no vegetation overgrowth, removal thereof by burning is not permitted. Citizens are urged to immediately contact the Fire Services on their toll-free line (933) whenever they see open burning on a plot. Residents are also reminded that open burning of any magnitude is a prosecutable offence in the city. Even open burning of garbage is not permitted. Garbage, including household waste, garden waste and building waste must be placed for collection by the municipal refuse truck or through the Municipality’s skip service.
- ASH IS TO BE DISPOSED IN AN ASH PIT
Improper disposal of ash is, according to the National Fire and Emergency Services, another cause of a breakout of uncontrolled wildfire. Citizens are implored to always dispose ash in an ash pit.
- DO NOT THROW CIGARETTE STUBS OUT OF A MOVING VEHICLE
It is common to see lit cigarette stubs being thrown out of moving vehicles. That practice is discouraged. Lit cigarettes or matches have enough heat to create a spark. Citizens who use cigarettes are urged to ensure they are completely extinguished before being thrown in the trash can. During dry and windy conditions wildfire can start by carelessly flicking a cigarette stub on the ground. Motorists are urged to utilize ashtrays that are available in their vehicles.
- DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FIRE IN THE FIRE PLACE
No matter how cold, citizens are implored not to overfill their fireplace or wood stove. Overloading the fireplace with too much wood can cause a fire to burn out of control. It is also important to ensure that you put out the fire before retiring to bed.
- DO NOT LEAVE THE HEATER UNATTENDED
Heaters should never be used to dry wet clothes and should never be left unattended. Like any electric device, electric heaters can cause shock when components such as the cord or plug are damaged and allow exposure to electric current. This can ignite a fire. Citizens are also urged not to leave the heater running overnight.
…FIRE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS BEFORE GOING TO BED
The Eswatini Fire and Emergency Services advises citizens to do the following before going to bed;
- Check that the cookers, heaters and other electrical appliances are switched off.
- Put out cigarettes and ensure ashtrays have no burning cigarette stubs.
- Close all doors in order to prevent the spread of fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Always use an ashtray and empty it in a safe disposal bin to prevent fire outbreaks.
- Candles should be put out before going to bed.
- Put combustible material away from lit candles.