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ZAKA Advisory – How to stay safe from fire this winter



How to stay safe from fire this winter



  • Use battery-operated lights instead of candles during loadshedding;
  • Avoid overloading electrical sockets, and ensure all appliances are switched off before the power returns; and
  • Keep a torch and extra batteries available.


  • Regularly inspect gas heaters and stoves for leaks and wear;
  • Ensure adequate ventilation when using appliances to prevent build-up of harmful gases; and
  • Never leave appliances unattended while in use.

General safety

  • Install smoke detectors in key areas of your home, and test them monthly;
  • Develop and practice a fire-escape plan; and
  • Keep flammable materials like curtains and furniture away from heaters and open flames.

Shabbat and yomtov candles

  • Place candles in sturdy holders and on non-flammable surfaces, away from curtains and other flammable materials;
  • Ensure that candles are out of reach of children and pets; and
  • Never leave candles unattended, and ensure that they are extinguished before going to bed.

Essential equipment

  • Ensure your home is equipped with a fire extinguisher and know how to use it; and
  • Have a fire blanket accessible in the kitchen and other high-risk areas

In an emergency

  • Evacuate immediately;
  • Use the nearest exit and avoid using elevators;
  • Crawl low under smoke to avoid inhaling harmful fumes;
  • Call the ZAKA emergency line at 086 18 000 18 as soon as you are safe; and
  • Provide clear information about the location and nature of the fire.


  • Use a fire extinguisher only if the fire is small and contained;
  • Follow the PASS technique: pull the pin, aim the nozzle, squeeze the handle, and sweep the base of the fire; and
  • If you are unable to control the fire, evacuate immediately.

After evacuation

  • Don’t re-enter the building until it has been declared safe; and
  • Gather at a predetermined meeting point to account for all household members.

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