(Preventing a fire from affecting your home and family)
- Keep your grass short and green
- Remove all rubbish, leaf litter and shrubs growing too close t your house
- Store wood, fuel, paints, etc well clear of house
- Have a garden hose connected (to be able to reach all parts of house and garden)
- Keep a ladder handy for roof access and keep gutter clear of debris
- Decided on a household plan to either leave early or stay to protect your home. ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE AUTHORITIES, AND EVACUATE WHEN INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.
- If possible, check your household insurance covers veld fires
If a veld fire is imminent at home:
- Cover all exposed skin
- Find open or already burnt areas. Don't try out run the fire or go uphill, and do not try to run through the flames.
- Move across-slope away from the fire front then down towards the rear of the main fire
- Try to remain calm
First degree burns:
Affect the top layer of skin, with signs and symptoms disappearing once the skin cells shed. They usually heal within three to six days. It is advisable to see a doctor if the burn affects a large area of skin (10cm or more), and if it’s on your face or a major joint.
First-degree burns can be successfully treated at home, with the healing time may be quicker if you treat the burn sooner. Treatment can include:
Second degree burns:
These injuries are more serious as the tissue damage extends beyond the top layer of skin. This causes the skin to blister and become extremely red and sore, and blisters may burst open.
The wounds will require frequent bandaging in order to prevent infection. This also helps the burn heal quicker. Some second-degree burns may take longer than three weeks to heal, but most will heal within two to three weeks. The worse the blisters are, the longer the burn will take to heal. In some severe cases, skin grafting is required to fix the damaged tissues.
Home treatment of mild second-degree burn may include:
Third-degree burns extend through all the layers of the skin, and cause the most damage. This may even affect the major organs, bones and blood stream, which can lead to death. These burns usually appear as: waxy, charred, dark brown or black, and are raised and leathery. Never attempt to self-treat a third-degree burn.
Call the emergency services IMMEDIATELY. (Please refer to the Emergency Numbers page)
Please also refer to our previous post "Feeling the heat of the kitchen (12/7/2014)" under Emergency and Trauma Centre for more information on burn wounds.