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With predictions of up to 16 hours of load shedding each day in the upcoming months, millions of South
Africans may experience an icy and dark winter this year. It’s crucial to take some simple precautions to avoid
becoming one of South Africa’s winter home fire statistics as more people turn to alternative heating sources
like gas and paraffin heaters and open fires to stay warm.
- Keep the heat in your house.
The first step in being safe is to stay as warm as you can. Keep the curtains drawn and double-check that all of
your windows are securely shut. Place rolled towels in the gaps under your doors and shut the doors to any
- Check your heat sources.
If not handled appropriately, heating equipment of all kinds can be deadly. Keep everything that can burn at
least a metre away from the heat source and check that the gas heaters’ pipes are securely fastened. One
heat-producing device should only be plugged into a single socket at a time. Additionally, avoid using extension
cords and instead plug power cables directly into wall sockets.
- plugs, surges, and lights.
Avoid using candles if at all possible. Use LED lights or flashlights instead of traditional ones when the power is
off or buy some rechargeable bulbs. When the energy is restored after load shedding, surge protection at all
plug points can prevent your appliances from being “fried” by power surges.
- Verify the safety of your generator.
Never operate a generator inside a building, garage or shed, regardless of whether the doors and windows are
open. Many South Africans pass away from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. All generators and other
power sources must be professionally installed by an electrician to prevent fires and damage to your
appliances. Always ask the electrician who installed your generator, inverter, or solar system for a certificate of