What do you do when you wake up to find your house on fire?
Drop as close to the ground as possible while covering yourself with a wet cloth and crawl out of the house.
This is one of the potentially life-saving tips from emergency officials following the fires which have engulfed parts of Nelson Mandela Bay and the Garden Route since last week.
Bay disaster management head Shane Brown said it was important to have the metro’s emergency number saved on your cellphone or placed in prominent and accessible places in your home.
“The number is (041) 585-1555 and it’s for all emergencies such as fire, metro police, disaster management, traffic and security,” Brown said.
If you wake up to a house fire, first leave the house and then phone the emergency number, he advises.
“If doors are closed, feel the handle with the back of your hand.
“If there’s heat, do not open the door because you might find a tornado of fire coming straight at you.
“You must feel with the back of your hand because if the handle is hot and you feel with your palm, your skin might stick and your hand will burn.”
Brown said it was important to keep a fire extinguisher around the house.
“Should the worst happen and someone catches alight, they should drop to the ground and roll to extinguish the fire.
“If there’s another person there, still drop and roll, and the other person must try to put out the flames as well,” he said.
“In most cases, people die from smoke inhalation rather than the fire itself.”