Invest in the right equipment as fire season nears
AS WE move into the summer season, the weather is right for fires and we are all cooking and entertaining more as the festive holidays approach. As the temperatures rise, the flash point for fires is lower so we need to be prepared.
If you don’t have an extinguisher or fire blanket in the house go out and buy one; it could save you thousands.
Read the following and then print it out and keep it handy.
Nine times out of 10, kitchen fires start on the stove, so if you don’t have a fire blanket or the correct type of extinguisher, take note of the following, and make sure everybody in the family knows what to do.
It is imperative the fire in the chip pan or whatever, is doused immediately. Once you see the pan is on fire, grab that tea-towel and put it under the cold tap, then wring it out – don’t leave any dripping water. Simply place the towel over the burning pot and wait for the fire to die down.
But if this does not work, call the fire brigade.
It is a natural reaction to grab a container of water and throw it on the fire – but this is not the right thing to do – the water is heavier than oil, which in most cases is the cause of the fire, and will sink to the bottom of the pot or pan, where it becomes super-heated.
The explosive heat of the steam will then cause what resembles a mini nuclear blast, splashing burning oil over the entire kitchen.
And don’t throw flour or other dry substances on to the fire; it will cause an explosion similar to a couple of sticks of dynamite.
If you are still sceptical, Google “akitchenoilfire1”.
I’m going to be a boring old nag, but once again I visited a home this week only to spot another illegal gas installation.
If you have any doubts about your installation, please e-mail me your concerns and if I can’t help, I will point you in the right direction, as you really don’t want to have an insurance claim rejected for lack of compliance.
More and more people are living in complexes where they live in each others pockets, not only in semi-detached houses, but in rows of houses where there are adjoining neighbours on both sides, an instant recipe for disaster.
I spent an hour this week with a charming reader who is battling to survive between two unco-operative neighbours.
After our meeting, the reader sent me the following notes, which should give us all some food for thought.
Whatever the division between your properties, unless it is properly sound-proofed, noise is going to carry, so please be considerate.
You are sharing a wall with your neighbour, which has lowered your building costs and has probably helped increase security, so be considerate.
If you are doing any alterations on a common wall, whether it is plumbing, electrical or any other trade, please ensure that the work is carried out to approved standards and that your neighbours are not going to bear the brunt of your having cheap or sub-standard work done.
If you are building a new common wall, ensure that it complies with council regulations, especially those relating to fire.
Skimping on your side, whether by using insufficient cement or not reinforcing properly, could put the adjoining property at risk.
And finally, beware noisy pool cleaners, which go doof, doof, doof in the middle of the night.
If you are lucky enough to have a pool, ensure that your pump/filter is well insulated to prevent sound transfer and that you have the quietest pool cleaner available.
If possible ensure that the pool cleaner runs during the day when surrounding noises help hide the noise and neighbours are usually at work.
Next week – preparing new external work for painting
I must apologise to the reader who asked me how to clean oil and grease off a driveway; I promised to phone him back but misplaced his number.
Hopefully the following advice will negate my negligence.
The same advice we used for dirty lime-stained toilet bowls will provide the solution – one of the “dark coloured colas” and a scrubbing brush is reputed to do the trick, otherwise try kitty litter for the initial soak up, followed by a dry application of powdered laundry detergent.
Both should be applied dry and well stamped in before being swept up.
Then scrub in a paste of water and detergent and sweep up again, then wash off with clean water.
Some stains may remain, but the grease and oil will have been removed.
Last week Shireen asked about cleaning cement off windows, to which I replied, and she responded by replying the window was actually aluminium. These are the basics for aluminium window care: Clean regularly. Sponge off dirt. Use mild or neutral detergents. Use soft nylon brushes or soft cloths. Consult a specialist when problems arise. Use wire brushes or sharp instruments. Use abrasive cleaning agents, acidic-alkaline solvents or paint remover. Clean with a power jet. Get cement on frames. Drill extra drainage holes.
Please keep your questions or comments coming to firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS only to 082 446 3859.