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Saturday, September 26, 2020
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    Woman burnt while using paraffin stove

    She sustained life threatening burns to more than half her body and it will be a hard and long road to recovery.

    On Wednesday, 14 August, Mrs Unati Pakamile (43) was preparing food for her children and while using the paraffin stove it ran out of fuel.
    Not waiting for it to cool down she proceeded to refill it.
    At this point there was a sucking sound and the fuel shot out onto her body and she caught fire, causing extensive burns to her chest, legs and arms.
    She sustained life threatening burns to more than half her body and it will be a hard and long road to recovery.
    The Bulletin wishes to use this unfortunate incident to highlight the safe use of these, as many of our readers make use of paraffin and gas stoves.
    The way that a paraffin stove works is that paraffin is released under pressure into the burner, the vapour that is released is the fuel that burns.
    The stove must be allowed to cool down before it is even opened to be refilled. If you cannot wait, it can be safely cooled with a wet cloth until it is cool to the touch.
    The stove must always be placed and used on a firm flat surface. It is better to use the stove on the ground if you cannot put it where it won’t fall over.
    Children are fascinated by the sound the stove makes and often knock the stove over in their curiosity; therefore, it is best to place the stove where they cannot get to it.
    Many fires are started by stoves that are knocked over.
    Remember that the heat of the stove radiates so ensure that anything that could catch fire is NOT left near the stove’s vicinity.
    There are lots of low quality cheap imported stoves available, many of these lack safety features and are dangerous to use.
    It is best to keep a bucket of sand close to the stove as using water on a paraffin fire will just let the fire spread, sand is the best and safest method to extinguish the fire.
    Storing of paraffin in cooldrink bottles is common and is a major cause of poisoning young children.
    The paraffin is usually sold in childproof bottles and should always be kept in these bottles. If you make use of large containers it should be poured into a childproof bottle. If a child drinks paraffin do not make them vomit, but make sure they are taken to the hospital.
    If your gas cooker suddenly starts burning from a place other than the cooker head, the safest method is to close the gas cylinder’s tap.
    If this is not possible, it is best to cover it with a wet towel, carry it out of your house and leave it in an open area. At this point contact the fire department to extinguish the fire. If not, it will burn until the gas runs out.
    Always check the condition of gas pipes regularly as they crack and leak.
    Never use a gas stove or paraffin stove on top of an electric stove in case it is accidently switched on.
    If a pan of oil catches fire cover the whole pan with a wet towel, don’t use water as the oil will spatter and land on your skin.
    Always make sure that pan handles are turned away from you so that they face away from the front of the stove.
    A fire extinguisher is far cheaper than replacing all your possessions in your house so consider getting a small one and keeping it just inside your front door.
    Phone 112 for a Fire Engine.
    Take a deep breath and speak slowly.
    Give the operator your name and phone number in case you get cut off, a second number is also a good idea.
    Explain what the problem is.
    Give the address or clear directions on how to find you. Give landmarks near you. If you are not able to, consider getting someone to meet the vehicle at a landmark. If you are able to drop a pin and send it, which is much faster and ensures the vehicle can come directly to you.

    Woman burnt while using paraffin stove