Saturday, May 25

Here’s How to Stay Warm AND Safe this Winter


This winter could be cold and dark for millions of South Africans, with Eskom expecting between 37 and 101 days of loadshedding in the coming months. As more people look to alternative heating sources like gas heaters and paraffin heaters and open fires to keep themselves warm, it’s important to take some basic precautions to make sure you don’t become one of South Africa’s winter home fire statistics.

Home heating is one of the leading causes of house fires and can easily occur if you’re not careful how you heat your home. So, what can you do to stay warm and safe this winter? Check out these safety tips for heating your home.

PriceCheck tip: Find the best prices on gas cylinders on PriceCheck to make sure your home-warming is efficient and economical this season.

gas heater

Keep the heat in your house

There are several things you can do to retain as much heat in your house as possible, especially when the power is off. Keep your curtains closed, close the doors to unused rooms, make sure all windows are properly closed, and put rolled up towels in the cracks under your doors. Dress cleverly: layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm winter clothing, like some cosy slippers, will keep you warmer than one bulky sweater.

Check your heat sources

All heating equipment can be dangerous if not handled carefully. Make sure the pipes on your gas heaters are secure and keep anything that can burn at least a metre away from the heat source. When the power is on, be sure to plug only one heat-producing appliance into one outlet a time, and plug power cords directly into wall sockets, and not an extension cord. And if possible, don’t use candles for lighting: when the power goes off, rather use flashlights or emergency, rechargeable LED lights.


Make sure your generator is safe

When the power goes off, suburbia comes alive with the buzz of generators. But be sure not to use a generator inside your home, garage or shed, even if you have doors and windows open. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills many South Africans every year. And make sure your generator is installed and certified by professionals.

You can’t just buy a generator at your local hardware store and stick an extension cord into a wall socket. That’s called back-feeding, and it’s dangerous. All generators and alternative power supplies must be installed professionally by an electrician, or you run the risk of fires and damage to your appliances.

Review your insurance cover

Rather be safe than sorry. Make sure your buildings and home contents are covered properly. This includes making sure they’re covered for their current replacement value, not what you paid for them. To help you assess your home contents correctly, here’s a handy home contents inventory. For your buildings, make sure you have enough insurance to rebuild your home entirely if you need to.


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