Sandton Real Estate

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Home Security and Safety

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Monkongane Electronic Systems Midrand 073 – 447 2999
A.P.  Electrical – Security Services Serving Sandton area 084 – 601 7429

        

Helpful Articles on Home Safety and Security

   

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HOW TO PERFORM CPR 

There is no substitute for learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but emergencies don’t wait for training. These instructions are for conventional adult CPR. If you’ve never been trained in CPR and the victim collapsed in front of you, use hands-only CPR.         

Adult CPR:       

Instructions:       

Call for help or get someone to call the ambulance immediately.       

Step 1       

A is airway. Open the airway using the head tilt, chin lift. Pushing down on the head and lifting up on the chin removes the tongue from the back of the throat. The tongue is the most common airway obstruction in an unconscious person. If the person is going to breathe on his own, it should happen as soon as you clear the airway. If you do not hear, see or feel any breathing, you must give two breaths, described in step 2. Look, listen and feel for even a faint indication that your victim is drawing breath.       

Step 2       

B is breathing. Give the victim two breaths. Pinch the person’s nose, put your lips over the other person’s lips and blow until you see the chest rise. If you have a protective device, use it. Watch out of the corner of your eye to be sure you blow just enough to see the chest rise.       

Step 3       

C is circulation. Find the carotid artery to the side of the Adam’s apple area and feel for 5 or 10 seconds. If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions.       

Step 4       

Feel around in the chest area. If there is no thumping under your fingers in a 3-second time span, begin chest compressions. Start by finding the proper placement for your hands. Locate the base of the sternum, the spot where all the ribs come together in the center of the chest.       

Step 5       

Place two fingers on that point. Put the heel of the other hand beside those two fingers. Interlace your fingers, lock your elbows and compress the victim’s chest, using your body weight , to the necessary depth of 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Or remember this: 2 hands, 2 inches.       

Step 6       

Count aloud as you compress 15 times and follow by giving the victim two breaths. That’s cycle number 1. Repeat for a total of four cycles–about 1 minute in elapsed time.       

Step 7       

Check again for a pulse in the neck and watch for signs that the person is breathing.       

Child CPR 
 

Instructions:    

Time Required: As long as it takes  

Step 1      

Stay Safe
Children may be infected with contagious diseases. If you are concerned about possible exposure to contagious disease, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment, if available.       

Step 2       

Try to Wake the Child
Gently tap or shake the child’s shoulders and call out his or her name in a loud voice. Don’t hurt the child, but be aggressive — you’re trying to wake them up. If the child does not wake up, have someone call 911 immediately. If no one else is available to call 911, continue to step 3 and do CPR for about 2 minutes before calling 911.       

Step 3       

Open the Airway and Check for Breathing
Put the child on a flat, hard surface, such as a table or the floor. Tilt the child’s head back a little to open the airway. Put an ear to the child’s mouth and listen for breathing sounds. While listening, watch the chest to see if it’s rising and falling. If you don’t see or hear any signs of breathing, go to step 4 immediately. If the child is breathing, then call 911 immediately if no one else has already done so. If the child vomits, turn the child to the side to keep him or her from choking on the vomit. If the child stops breathing, go to step 4.       

Step 4       

Give the Child Two Breaths
If the child is not breathing, give him or her two breaths. Cover the child’s mouth with yours, and pinch his or her nose closed with your hand. Gently blow until you see his or her chest rise. Let the air escape; the chest will go back down. Then give one more breath.  If no air goes in when you try to blow, adjust the child’s head and try again. If that doesn’t work, then go to step 5.       

Step 5       

Begin Chest Compressions
Put the heal of one of your hands on the child’s breast bone (directly between the child’s nipples). Push straight down about 1.5 inches, then let the chest retract all the way back up. Do that 30 times, about twice per second. After 30 pushes on the chest, give the child two more rescue breaths (as described in step 4). Keep going — 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths — for about two minutes. If you still haven’t called 911 yet, do it now. Keep doing 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths until the child starts breathing on his or her own, or until help arrives.       

Tips:       

  1. When checking for breathing, if you’re not sure then assume the child isn’t breathing. It’s much worse to assume a kid is breathing and not do anything than to assume he or she isn’t and start rescue breaths.
  2. When giving rescue breaths, using a CPR mask helps with making a proper seal and keeps vomit out of the rescuer’s mouth.
  3. Put a book under the child’s shoulders — if you have time — to help keep his or her head tilted back.
  4. When asking someone else to call 911, make sure you tell them why they are calling. If not, they may not tell the 911 dispatcher exactly what’s going on. If the dispatcher knows a child isn’t breathing or responding, the dispatcher may be able to give you instructions to help. If you call 911, be calm and listen carefully.

        

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Home Fire Extinguisher       

A home fire extinguisher plays a crucial role in preventing fire from spreading further. A fire break-out is unpredictable and can typically be classified into kitchen grease fire, car fire, electrical fire and combustible substances fire that can be caused if a lit candle is left unattended for a while. There are different types of home fire extinguishers created for the different kinds of fire, and there are a couple of these extinguishers which are flexible enough to be used in a variety of situations.       

Different types of Fire Extinguishers        

Fire extinguishers are specially made for the particular type of fire that they can put out. Every fire extinguisher comes with numerical ratings, which help us to know the amount of fire that it can manage. The lower the number, the less fire it can fight. Five categories of the different types of fire extinguishers:       

Class A       

  • This home fire extinguisher is suitable for general flammable materials like paper, cardboard, wood and all plastics. Its numerical rating mentions water holding capacity, and the magnitude of fire this extinguisher can put out.

Class B       

  • Class B fire extinguishers are made for fires where combustible liquids are involved. Those liquids include as kerosene, grease, gasoline and oil. In this case, the numerical rating quantifies the estimated square footage of fire that can be extinguished.

Class C       

  • A class C fire is also known as an electrical fire, and these are caused by things such as circuit breakers, electrical appliances, power outlets, and electrical wiring. Do not use water to put out this type of fire, as water conducts electrical current. Therefore, the class C fire extinguisher includes non-conductive materials to manage the fire. This home fire extinguisher does not carry a numerical rating.                              

Class D       

  • A class D fire extinguisher is often used in chemical research laboratories. The Class D fires are caused due to combustible metals like sodium, potassium and magnesium. They do not have a numerical rating either.

Class K       

  • Class K fires involve cooking oils or fats used at home. These fires can often fall under Class B, but they also have certain different features, which caused a different class to be created for them. Hence, there are some type K home fire extinguishers available on the market.

        

Know how to use a fire extinguisher                      

Before using your fire extinguisher, be sure to read the instructions before it’s too late. Use this acronym as a quick reference (it is a good idea to print this reference and pin it next to your fire extinguisher):       

P A S S       

Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.       

Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important – in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.       

Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.       

Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher – different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!!!!       

WARNING       

A typical fire extinguisher contains 10 seconds of extinguishing power. This could be less if it has already been partially discharged. Always read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher beforehand and become familiarized with its parts. It is highly recommended by fire prevention experts that you get hands-on training before operating a fire extinguisher. Most local fire departments offer this service.       

Once the fire is out, don’t walk away! Watch the area for a few minutes in case it re-ignites. Recharge the extinguisher immediately after use.       

PREVENTING FIRE   
 “85% of fire deaths occur in the home, making fire prevention a top priority in every home”. Here is a list of some of the less obvious tips for fire prevention, based on the most common causes of fires:      

Cooking equipment        

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires.      

  • Keep appliances clean, and wipe surfaces after spills. Clean stove surfaces and ovens regularly.
  • Wear tight-fitting sleeves, or roll them up when cooking
  • Keep flammable objects, including pot holders, dish towels and curtains, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and all other solid-fuelled heating equipment needs to be inspected annually by a professional and cleaned accordingly.
  • Assure microwaves have enough room to breathe, that all the vents are cleared of obstructions.
  • If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Make sure to have the microwave oven serviced before you use it again.
  • If there is an oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the heat. If the fire doesn’t go out immediately, call the fire department.
  • A grease fire occurs when oil or greasy foods are heated and ignite. The simplest way to fight a grease fire is to carefully slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, don’t move the pan, and keep the lid on until the pan cools completely. Baking Soda may also be used to suffocate the fire. NEVER PUT WATER ON A GREASE FIRE. Water causes the grease to splatter and the fire to spread. Also, NEVER attempt to take a grease fire outdoors. It will be too hot to carry and you will drop it, causing a major house fire.

   

Heating Equipment  

Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires during the winter months, and is the second-leading cause of home fires year-round.    

  • When buying heaters, look for devices with automatic shutoff features.
  • Be sure any gas-fuelled heating device is installed with proper attention to ventilation, and never put unvented gas space heaters in bedrooms or bathrooms. Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies are prohibited for home use by NFPA codes.
  • Never leave space heaters on when you leave the room.
  • Heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Don’t use extension cords with heaters. The high amount of current they require could melt the cord and start a fire.
  • When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match first, then turn on the gas.

Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater.       

Electrical Distribution Equipment        

Wiring, outlets, switches, circuit breakers and other electrical devices are the third leading cause of home fires and the second leading cause of fire deaths.    

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, shut off the circuit and have them checked by an electrician.
  • Try to avoid extension cords. If you feel an extension cord is necessary, make sure that it is not frayed or worn. Do not run it under carpet or around doorways.
  • Never overload a socket. The use of “octopus” outlets or “power bar”, outlet extensions that accommodate several plugs, is strongly discouraged. Try to limit one high-wattage appliance into each individual outlet at a time.
  • If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows frequently, cut down on the number of appliances on that line. In many older homes, the capacity of the wiring system has not kept pace with today’s modern appliances and can overload electrical systems. Some overload signals include: dimming lights when an appliance goes on, fuses blowing frequently or shrinking TV picture.
  • Assure there’s plenty of air space around home entertainment units such as the TV and stereo to avoid overheating.

Although some fires are caused by electrical system failures and appliance defects, many are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.       

Smoking      
Never smoke in bed. Always look under cushions and in trashcans for burning cigarettes before going to bed. Check carpeting where ashtrays have been used.      

ANTI HIJACKING

How to avoid a hijacking:        

We all live in difficult and dangerous times – where even just arriving at your own home could be fatal. Hijackers have become more organized, and therefore we need to be more careful. It is of the utmost importance to understand the modus operandi of hijackers and to implement specific safety measures when driving.       

Modus Operandi used by hijackers: 

  • Hijackers prefer areas with easy and more accessible escape routes, and therefore, most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas.
  • Hijackings take place at schools when dropping off / picking up children.
  • Hijackings take place while stationed at any traffic sign or intersection.
  • At times, the hijackers will use a vehicle to force the victim off the road.
  • Hijackings take place while the vehicle is idling, when off – loading or collecting passengers.
  • Hijackers also pose as Police or Traffic Officers, when conducting a hijacking. (Blue light scenario)
  • Hijackings take place when advertising your vehicle for sale. (Test drive method)
  • Hijackers are likely to strike when a vehicle is stationed next to the road, e.g. to answer a cell phone.

If we understand and keep this modus operandi in mind, we have a much better chance of being protected from these crimes.       

Awareness Measures :   

  • Get to know your environment, as well as who belongs in the vicinity of your home or workplace and take note of strangers.
  • Take note and be aware of anything suspicious or out of the ordinary – rather safe than sorry.
  • If possible, always ensure that you stop at least five meters behind the vehicle in front of you at an intersection with a stop sign or traffic light. This way, you are provided with a better opportunity to escape in case of a crisis.
  • Ensure that the doors in your vehicle are locked and the widows closed at all times.
  • Vary your daily routes, e.g. to work, home, gym, shops and so on, as much as possible. Keep in mind the fact that hijackers are professionals, and usually put a lot of planning into their attacks.
  •  Ensure that your mirrors are adjusted and enable you to view ALL directions surrounding your vehicle.

   Precautions:    

  • Always be on the look out for suspicious looking vehicles and people. Do not hesitate to report them to the SAPS .
  • If a stranger approaches your vehicle while you are inside, drive off (if possible) and/or use your hooter to attract attention.
  • Never open your door, nor your window, for any stranger.
  • If you are suspicious of or feel unsure about any vehicle or person in a high – risk area, take appropriate action, e.g. ignore a red light, BUT ALWAYS MAKE SURE IT IS SAFE TO DO SO FIRST, to speed away from the danger area.
  • In some instances accidents are staged, for example where your car is bumped from behind. If you do not feel comfortable about the individuals involved in the situation, drive to the nearest SAPS for help.
  • If a suspicious person is near your unoccupied vehicle, do not approach the vehicle but walk to the nearest public area and ask for assistance. 

   Safeguarding your family, friends and property:   

  • If possible, ensure that anyone leaving your premises can drive out rather than reverse into the road. Reversing requires more concentration and reduces visibility.
  • Ensure, as far as possible, that anyone leaving your premises can get into their car, lock it and start driving before the gates are opened.
  • Never leave any important documents in your vehicle that may provide personal details to criminals.
  • If you do have electric gates with a buzzer, ensure that visitors can reach the buzzer without having to get out of their cars.
  • Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or anything that can be seen from a distance when driving.
  • Ensure that your gate and driveway are well lit after dark and that the number of your house is clearly visible at all times, in case the SAPS need to come out to your house.
  • If forced to park in the street, escort your visitors to their vehicle when they are planning to leave. The more people who are around, the better.

   How to respond if hijacked:   

  • Remain calm and remember that the preservation of human life must take precedence over retaining material assets.
  • Do not do anything that is going to alarm the hijackers. They are also nervous and this makes them more dangerous.
  • Keep your hands clearly visible at all times.
  • If you have a baby in the car tell the hijackers and ask them if they can fetch the child. Do not move towards the car without their permission.
  • If they kidnap you, co-operate with them fully.
  • Listen to their conversations and also listen for names used.
  • Try to memorise the route that was taken, even if they have blindfolded you.
  • If kept hostage, try to remember the surroundings and try to mark the place for later identification.

   Taking Action After a Hijacking: 

  • Establish where you are and take the name and telephone number of the first person that you talk to after the hijacking.
  • Memorise signboards and distances to towns.
  • Report to the nearest police station.
  • Ensure that your vehicle’s information is circulated and do not leave the police station without a case number.

    

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