A fire extinguisher is something that only crosses our minds when there is a fire. For most of us, a fire ripping through our homes, threatening our lives and livelihoods, is but the stuff of nightmares. However, for the community of Fisantekraal, this shattering experience becomes a reality far too often…
In fact, when we were first introduced to our sensational ‘7 Pillars’ - seven ladies who give their blood, sweat and tears to run soup kitchens to feed their impoverished community - a devastating fire had just blazed through multiple homes, (barely missing one of the kitchens!) leaving a brave samaritan seriously injured and multiple families homeless. This really brought the realisation home that these soup kitchens need to be equipped and prepared for the worst.
We approached Washfie Ismail from Swift Fire for his expert advice, but instead he blew us away with his generosity: Not only did he donate the seven fire extinguishers needed for the seven soup kitchens, but he then went above and beyond to make sure that the extinguishers could be put to good use in case of emergency. Following a wonderfully informative lecture and a really great practical lesson, we all gained an understanding about different kinds of fires and extinguishers, and of course how to put an extinguisher to actual practical use. Even more incredibly, Washfie kindly undertook to service these extinguishers once a year!
We now know that fires need three things to keep burning: Heat, oxygen and combustibles (something that can physically burn). To stop a fire, we need to remove one of these things.
Our beautiful red fire extinguishers have blue labels, meaning that they are dry chemical extinguishers – the best all-rounder that can extinguish any type of fire. Very good to know, as the soup kitchens all cook using gas, sometimes with boiling oil. A gas, oil or electrical fire cannot be put out with water (which instinctually, we reach for first when dealing with fire). In fact, it will be disastrous!
In case of a fire: Don’t panic! Switch off the gas and get your fire extinguisher. The faster you stop a fire, the better.
Washfie’s “students” left feeling empowered and better prepared. Even though we hope that these fire extinguishers never, ever have to be used, the thought that they could potentially save someone’s property and life will make us all rest easier.
The fire extinguishers will soon be mounted on their hooks, ready for our now eager and trained fire fighters.
Thank you Washfie and Swift Fire - you have helped to make a difference!
Eager students assembled at the Resilient Kids offices in Fisantekraal. Gathered here from left to right is Juanita from our Outreach Team, four of our wonderful '7 Pillars' soup kitchens, Barbara Clarke, who does incredible work as part of Resilient Kids and Mercy Aids, as well as a group of Occupational Therapist students from Resilient Kids.
Washfie, explaining the simple colour-coding of fire extinguisher labels.
The lovely Antoinette (Greenville Soup Kitchen), is always bubbling with excitement!
The practical part of the lecture is about to begin!
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