Conserve electricity, warns city as winter approaches

ETHEKWINI Municipality is urging residents to use electricity conservatively as winter approaches.

The City says individual households can help reduce electricity consumption, especially during peak times by following these energy tips:

Replace incandescent globes with energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps which use 80 per cent less electricity.

Turn off lights and space heaters when you leave the room.

Use a thermostatically controlled oil or infrared heater and opt for an electric blanket to warm a bed, instead of a space heater to heat a room. Remember to switch off the electric blanket when going to bed.

Insulate ceilings and seal windows, doors and any cracks. In winter, opening curtains during the day allows sunshine to heat the room.

Residents who use candles or paraffin stoves for lighting or heating purposes are encouraged to show extreme caution to prevent devastating fires in informal settlements which are experienced around this time of the year.

Fire Chief Enock Mchunu said lit candles and paraffin stoves must never be left unattended. “It is critical that they are never left unattended. They must also not be placed near combustible material such as curtains, table clothes or paper. Children should also not be left unattended near a naked light.” He urged parents not to leave children at home unattended, especially if candles would be used.

“Matchboxes should not be lying around within easy reach of children. Parents who use these heating or lighting systems should not leave their children unattended as it can lead to dangerous situations with dire consequences,” Mchunu said. He advised residents to contact the emergency services number, on 031 361 0000, to report a fire before trying to extinguish it themselves.

He said in case of fires, residents should try and get out of the house as quickly as possible, only taking their valuables with if they are within easy reach.
“It is also important to alert your closest neighbours when there is a fire. When reporting a fire ensure you provide the correct address. You can also give landmarks to ensure firefighters reach you quickly to control the situation,” Mchunu added.

Wanda Daly

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