Knysna: Help for the Fire victims

Our hearts go out to the victims of the raging fires in Knysna and Plett this week. We are devastated by the tragedy, but so grateful to see how community members gather to help each other out. If you or a family member are affected by the fires, here are what you need to know to support yourself, and those in need 프렌즈 다운로드.
Don’t panic, and protect yourself
The first rule to follow in the event of a fire is: “Don’t panic”. Rescuers must behave rationally and avoid any heedless action. The first thing to do is to examine the situation, assess the gravity of the fire and opt for the appropriate behaviour. To help others one must first be able to protect oneself. If you’re assisting in the rescue, follow the advice of experienced rescuers. Don’t try to be an unprepared hero: you could just end up as another victim!

Use protective clothing:

  • Dust mask: even far away from the flames, you could still suffer from smoke inhalation, which could cause infections – protect yourself!
  • Helmet:  protect against falling objects, and protect your hair from catching fire
  • Dark glasses, even ordinary sun-glasses, to protect the eyes from glare OR dust-goggles to protect from the smoke
  • Gloves
  • Welder’s apron: if you need to get close to the flames, you need clothing that won’t catch fire.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be alert: stay away from flames, fumes, toxic gases, falling objects and other hazards. It’s not just the flames that are dangerous!
  • Don’t walk over ground covered with easily flammable material (paper, sawdust, brushwood, etc.)
  • Stay away from any flammable liquid that might explode
  • Don’t walk across floors of lofts or stairs or ceilings
  • Don’t stand downwind from the flames

Emergency treatment of burned areas
On your way to emergency care, treat burn lesions as follows:

  • Do not burst any blisters, or remove the burnt skin: the outer layer protects the inner layer from infection.
  • Cool the burned parts with water or wet cloth.
  • Very intense burns need to be immersed in water at room temperature, or covered with a damp cloth. The cooling operation should not exceed 20 minutes. Let the patient’s condition and sense of pain relief guide you.
  • Stop cooling the patient if they begin to shiver.
  • Children and elderly persons and those in a state of shock must be treated with even greater care, with shorter cooling.
  • Use clean plastic bags, if available, to wrap burned hands and feet.
  • Don’t medicate burned parts with ointments or other drugs as these would only mask the picture.
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Smoke inhalation
Anyone who has been exposed to smoke inhalation should check their ABC: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Visit your local emergency department if you have any worrying symptoms.

Signs to look out for:

  • Cough: The mucus can be clear or black.
  • Rapid breathing or Shortness of breath: The airways may be damaged, which leads to less oxygen getting into the blood. T
  • Hoarseness or noisy breathing: Some fluids can be collecting in the lung due to the smoke and injury.
  • Eyes: Red, irritated eyes is another sign of smoke inhalation and exposure to smoke in the eyes.
  • Skin color: Skin color may range from pale to bluish to cherry red.
  • Soot in the nose and throat .
  • Headache: The carbon monoxide from the fire can cause headache, nausea and vomiting.

General home care:

  • Protect yourself and children by staying indoors and keeping windows and doors closed to reduce the amount of smoke that comes into the house.
  • Wear dust-masks when going outdoors.
  • Do you have an air conditioner? Change the settings to recirculate the air already inside the house – this can reduce the smoke you breathe in.
  • Don’t forget to look after your eyes: when going outdoors, wear sunglasses or protective eye wear to minimise the amount of direct exposure to smoke that your eyes get.
  • Stay hydrated! Fluid helps to keep the mucus linings of the lungs moist which makes them works better. Water is always the healthiest option.

Emergency numbers:

Save these numbers on your phone, in case you need to contact emergency services. All calls are free.

Ambulance: 10177
Cell phone emergency : 112
Land-line national emergency: 10111