Your safety comes first

Doreen Mokgolo

Winter is a time when we all try to find different means to keep warm, be it having a heater, electric blanket or cuddling a hot water bottle.

Many in the informal settlement don’t have this luxury; some don’t even have access to electricity.

They are often found having to make a brazier from coals or sit around a fire outside to keep themselves warm.

Even though this is a very reliable and cheaper way to keep warm and save on electricity, it also causes many deaths.

Many households have lost all their belongings in fires.

It pained me last week when a friend called me in tears to inform me that her family had lost everything after their house burned down.

It is alleged that they all fell asleep while the coal brazier was still in the house and were woken up by neighbours screaming for help.

The carpet the brazier was on caught fire, which then quickly spread to the rest of their shack.

I must say even though they have lost everything that they have worked hard to accomplish, we are all grateful they got away with minor wounds and smoke inhalation.

There is nothing the medical doctors can’t treat and they can still replace whatever was lost.

All I can say to those who depend on a brazier to fight off the cold chilly weather is: “Please, take precautionary measures.

Make sure that you remove the fire from the house before you all fall asleep. Ensure it is placed where it will not catch fire.

Even when using bar heaters ensure that they are working well because they are notorious for starting a fire.

Remember your health and safety comes first – do not do anything that will put your life and those of your loved ones in danger.

Life is precious and you are all important, let us be responsible for our actions.”

Doreen Mokgolo

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