Media Release: GRDM Fire Services Public Education Interventions continue
For immediate release
14 September 2023
The GRDM Fire Services visited various primary schools within our district over the months of August and September 2023.
Fire safety awareness and education interventions facilitated at schools play a crucial role in ensuring that whilst learners are in the learning environment, they are also exposed to information and educated on Fire Safety prevention at school, at home and outside in the environment.
Educators are also learning with the students. They all become aware of prevention and what actions to take within their immediate environment and share the message with family and friends at home. It is a three-step process, which includes Awareness, Prevention and how to deal with fire ignition and/or occurrence and/or how to escape and protect themselves in any specific situation, as well as alerting the Fire Brigade Services about the incident.
Prioritising schools and in particular Primary Schools, is viewed as the most effective target audience in this regard.
Schools that were visited are as follows;
- Avontuur Primary & Haarlem Primary – 03 August 2023
- Herold Primary – 10 August 2023
- Geelhoutboom Primary – 29 August 2023
- Hoogekraal Primary – 30 August 2023
- Franken Primary – 5 September 2023
- Diepkloof Primary – 7 September 2023
Some of the key learnings that students gained from fire safety education include:
Understanding Fire Basics:
- The basic science of fire, including how it starts, spreads, and the elements necessary for combustion.
Unwanted Fire Prevention:
- Common causes of fires, such as electrical faults, open flames, and flammable materials.
- The importance of fire prevention measures, including proper storage of flammable materials, not overloading electrical outlets, and safe handling of ignition sources such as candles, stoves, etc., other appliances, e.g., gas heaters, electric heaters, leaving candles and cooking unattended.
Cautions with Matches and Lighters:
- Not to play with matches or lighters and to immediately hand over to an adult if they find them.
- Learning to recognise the early signs of a fire, such as the smell of smoke or the sound of a smoke detector.
- Vegetation Fires: leaving ‘outside’ fires unattended that has the potential of starting vegetation fires, the dangers of starting vegetation fires, as well as how to make and confine fires in designated areas.
Dangers of Smoke(Carbon Monoxide Awareness)
- The dangers of smoke, carbon monoxide inhalation, and in particular the dangers of ‘boma’ fires within the home.
Fire Safety Equipment:
- Familiarisation with fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire blankets and smoke alarms, as well as other measures that can be used, i.e., sand.
- How to use a fire extinguisher properly and understanding its limitations.
- Actions to take: Stop, Drop, and Roll.
- Teaching the “stop, drop, and roll” technique in case of clothing catching fire.
Calling of Emergency number:
- How to call emergency services in their immediate areas to report a fire.
- Emphasising the importance of providing accurate information and remaining calm during the call and moving to designated safe places.
Fire safety education in schools not only imparts important life-saving knowledge but also instils a sense of responsibility and preparedness in learners and educators alike. It empowers them to take correct action in the event of a fire and to promote fire safe practices within their immediate communities.
Information supplied: Heinrich Leslie, GRDM Acting Station Officer: Fire Services