As expected, his apartment was locked. His wife left for office about the same time with him, and she took the children with her to school, on her way to work. As he walked briskly through the sitting room, he perceived the smell of burning food. His heart skipped a beat. Was it from his kitchen or from the neighbour’s?
He rushed to the kitchen and flung the door open. Something was truly burning in the kitchen. He opened it and saw that it was a pot of tomato sauce. His wife must have wanted it to dry and had forgotten to turn off the gas cooker before leaving. He turned off the light.
He began to sweat as his heart continued to beat fast. He imagined all that could have happened if he had not come back to take his phone. The earliest time someone would have come back to his apartment was around 5pm. If that tomato in the pot had dried up, a fire would have started. The compound was usually deserted during the day that by the time help would come, the house would have been burnt down.
John was luckier than David. This cold weather has necessitated his family having their bath with warm water morning and night. This past Saturday, their home-help boiled water and poured it into a bucket and was coming out of the kitchen. His four-year-old daughter was chasing after her elder brother, who ran around the sitting room. The home-help emerged from the kitchen that same time, and the little boy ran into her and the hot water she had in a bucket. The hot water splashed up unto her face and the chest of the boy. It was a terrible sight to behold.
Nobody prays for domestic accidents but sometimes they occur. Burns, fire, death and other disasters occur at home most times because of someone’s carelessness. We can avoid many of these domestic accidents by taking some measures that will cost us next to nothing. Below are some of them.
Hot water burn:
Never carry hot water in a kettle from the kitchen to the bathroom even when you are home alone. Never pour hot water into a bucket and carry it from the kitchen to the bathroom. First, pour some cold water into the bucket, take it to the kitchen and pour the hot water into the bucket. That way, the water is not hot enough to cause any harm if it accidently pours on you or somebody else.
Don’t allow little children into the kitchen. While taking any hot pot off the fire, make sure you protect your hands well with gloves or napkins to avoid dropping the pot abruptly because of its hotness.
Never send your little children to get you a knife from the kitchen or fridge or a pair of scissors. Teach your children and everyone in your household to ALWAYS put a knife in a saucer before moving it out. Also, teach everyone in your household that while moving any sharp object like matchete around the house, it must be held upside down.
Danger from behind the curtain:
Kids are always running around the house. Never keep a chair, hot water, mirror, matchete, glass cups, heavy materials or sharp objects behind a curtain, even for a minute. If you have to, please draw the curtain. And when you are moving towards a curtain with or without any object in your hands, please make some noise to warn others of your approach.
Never keep little children out of sight:
When a little child that is less than four years old is left alone for a short while, he may get into harm or cause some harm. Don’t let such children out of your sight for more than a minute.
Keep drugs away from the reach of children:
Although this is written on every drug bottle or packet, yet it needs to be stressed. Make sure that whenever you buy drugs or receive drugs from hospitals that they are kept where your children cannot reach them. When I was young, someone had administered nerve-and-bone liniment to a child as a syrup. Thankfully it was not poisonous.
Don’t smoke in bed:
No matter your alertness and self-control level, don’t smoke lying down on the bed. You may doze off with the lighted cigarette dropping on the pillow, bed or rug and burning down the house.
Ban the use of candles at home:
If you have little children, please don’t use candles at home, even if you manufacture candles or get a free supply of candles. If you live alone and insist on using candles at home, please get a good candle stand and never let your guard down.
Don’t cook when tired/don’t cook and watch TV.
When you have something on fire, please avoid watching the TV. But more importantly, don’t lie down on the bed for a few minutes when you are cooking, especially if you are home alone. If you are tired or feel sleepy because you were awake all night, please don’t cook, especially if you are alone at home. You may likely sleep off.
Mind the iron:
When you are ironing your clothes, don’t leave the hot iron flat on the table for a second to attend to something else. Switch off the iron from the wall and pull the cable out, once you need to attend to something else or once there is a cut in power supply. If not, when power supply is restored late at night when you are asleep or when nobody is at home, it could be disastrous.
Because of frequent power surges, good stabilisers will not only save your electrical appliances, but could save any power surge from causing a fire outbreak, especially when nobody is at home.
Install fire extinguishers:
They could save you some heartache.
Ensure there is a second exit:
In the event of an emergency, it is important that you have an alternative exit. If a threat has blocked one exit, you can escape through the alternative exit.
Have a permanent place where you keep your exit keys in case of emergency. It is better they are always behind the door. It is dangerous to be searching for keys when there is an emergency.
Do a last-minute check:
Before you go to bed, do a last-minute check in the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and the exit doors to confirm that everything is in order. When you are leaving home in the morning, do the same thing. If you only remember when you have reached the gate, rush back and do the check. That check can save you a lot.
The Creator is in control of our affairs. But we need to play our part first and leave the rest to Him.
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