FIRE, FIRE SAFETY
OTHER THAN THE SCHEDULED BURNS OF ARTWORKS, THE FOCUS OF FIRE CONTROL IN TANKWA TOWN IS AVOIDANCE, AWARENESS AND ACTIVE PREVENTION.
If something catches on fire, we will get people out of harm’s way and then probably just let it burn out – our Rangers and Fire Safety crews protect people, not property.
Be prepared and know what to do. Bring adequate fire extinguishers and know how to use them: practice Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep (P.A.S.S).
In the case of tent or structure fires, DO NOT attempt to enter the tent/ structure to remove possessions.
When planning your camp, leave at least three metres between flammable items.
By way of example, have your tent three metres from your generator, which should be five metres from your fuel. This applies to cars and campervans as well. All camps must have a fire extinguisher on hand and visible.
You can’t make fires directly on the ground - braais and braziers must be used.
Fires can’t be left unattended – they must be put out if not in use.
You may not burn unapproved artworks. If you would like to burn something that you’ve created, let the Art crew know, by contacting them via the Arteria, at Off-Centre Camp.
When burning structures, keep a safety perimeter equal to three times the height of your sculpture (or more if the wind is strong). Mark out the perimeter with lights, nailed-down tape or other safe markers.
Don’t store too much gas and store any gas at least 10m away from your main camp activity in shade - NOT IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Petrol at camp must be kept to a minimum and signage should indicate fuel on site. Please comply with fire safety when making a camp fire.
TIP: Have at least 2 fire extinguishers available in a 50sqm area, and when cooking with oil, have a fire blanket close by. All camps must also have a 5-litre bucket of sand at the ready.
For large gas and fuel storage (for camps or Mutant Vehicles or Artworks), please contact the Fire Safety Officer (at OCC) to request storage at our fuel dump.
FIRE LANTERNS AND FLARES
NOPE. They’re pretty death machines. Mobile arson. They’re a very serious fire hazard, and create problems with neighbouring farms and the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Flying lanterns also become snares for small mammals and reptiles - please don’t bring them, as you’ll only be asked to put them out. Basically, if it burns or can cause a fire don’t set it alight or shoot it into the airspace of Tankwa Town, ever.
• REMEMBER TO LABEL YOUR FUEL CONTAINERS. YOU CAN’T PUT OUT A FIRE WITH PETROL.
OUR TANKWA TOWN FIRE SAFETY TEAM WORKS FOR A SAFER BURN COMMUNITY.
THE INFORMATION BELOW WILL HELP YOU BE AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS WHILST CAMPING OUTDOORS.
CARAVANS (OR RV’S/ CAMPERVANS) AND BOTTLED GAS
- Always change cylinders in open air, away from any source of ignition.
- Check connections are tight. The best way to do this is with a little water with washing-up liquid and soft brush. Brush all connections with liquid: no bubbles = no gas leak.
- Turn off at main valve when not in use.
- Keep cylinders outside your caravan.
- Before going to bed or leaving the caravan, turn off all appliances. Turn off cylinders unless appliances (such as a fridge) are designed to run continuously.
- Never use a cooker or a heater whilst caravan is moving.
IF YOU SUSPECT A LEAK
- Turn off all appliances.
- Open all doors and windows.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not operate electrical switches.
- Take care when cooking - never leave any cooking or open flame unattended.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- If you smoke, use metal ashtrays.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Children should not be left alone in a caravan.
- Keep your caravan ventilated. Don’t block up air vents - it could be fatal.
- Allow safe spacing between tents, caravans and cars.
- Never use candles or any other open flame in or near a tent. Torches are much safer.
- Flammable liquids and Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders should be kept outside the tent in labeled containers. If you have excess fuel, store it at the Fuel Dump (ask at the OCC)
- Oil burning appliances are not recommended.
- Cooking appliances should not be used in small tents.
- Keep cooking appliance away from walls and the roof where it can be easily knocked over.
PLEASE NOTE: YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO MAKE AN OPEN FIRE ON THE GROUND AT AFRIKABURN. (YEP, WE KNOW WE’VE SAID IT 3 TIMES: IT’S THAT IMPORTANT).
If you have a fire:
- It should be in a raised platform and downwind, at least 10m from any tent
- Clear all wood, leaves, tinder, etc. to form a circle of clear earth around the fire
- Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning. Ideally your wood stack must not be higher than the sides of your fireplace
- Do not leave fires unattended - make sure they’re fully extinguished before leaving them
- Have a 5-litre bucket of sand, and a fire extinguisher/s nearby to extinguish a fire.
If a fire breaks out:
- Contact the Ranger, Security, Medics or Fire Branch and give the exact location If possible give a street reference - “corner of 9-ish and A Street”, etc.
- If this is not possible, provide a landmark such as a Theme Camp or art piece
- After following above points - remove any objects (i.e. tents, wood, vehicles, your mother-in-law, etc.) from the vicinity of the fire - if safe to do so.
GUIDELINES FOR OPEN FIRES, BURN BARRELS, BAMBOO TORCHES, ETC. WITHIN THEME CAMPS:
- Open fires (ie: on the ground) aren’t permitted - use a brazier, braai, etc.
- Burn barrels or braais can’t be left unattended - if found unattended, they will be put out.
- At least one camp member should be designated Safety Baron and tasked with fire safety (including locating fire extinguishers where they’re visible and easily accessed).
- If winds pick up, all open fires must be put out immediately and burn barrels must be extinguished if they begin to throw sparks.
- Open fire or burn barrels must be extinguished at the request of any Ranger or Emergency Services personnel, or they’ll do it.
- A 5m zone around any fire must be free of any flammable materials, such as, but not limited to: cloth, paper, tents, plastic, etc.
- All liquid fuels must be kept at least 10m away from any open flame.
- Make sure that all liquid fuels are carefully labelled. It’s a pretty nasty surprise when someone tries to put out a fire with a jerry can of diesel – 3 such incidents happened in the past.
- A supply of at least 25 litres of water (and/or a fire extinguisher) must be kept on hand to extinguish the fire in case of high winds or other hazards.
- Burn barrels must be secured and constructed in a way that the burning surface is at least 15cm from the ground to prevent baking of the surface.
- When planning your camp, you should use the following fuel storage guidelines:
Distance between tent & fuel – 5 metres.
Distance between tent & fire – 5 metres.
Distance between fuel & fire – 10 metres ...Placed in a triangle.
This applies to cars and camper-vans as well – keep them more than 5 metres from any fuel or fire.
- Camps should always have a 5-litre bucket of sand on hand to put out fires quickly and easily, in addition to a fire extinguisher.
- All flammable fuels (gas, petrol, diesel, paraffin) should be stored in a central place in the campsite, under shade and in a location furthest from the sleeping and socialising / fire area. An additional suitable fire extinguisher should be close by.
- 1 x 4.5 kg DCP (Dry Chemical Powder) or 1 x 5kg CO2 fire extinguisher should be available for every 8 x 8 m of covered area (e.g. 4 x medium size tents / awning / gazebo / etc). These fire extinguishers should be placed in a central place, be readily accessible and visible. Make sure that the extinguishers are in date and that the needle in the gauge is in the green.
NOTE: Please remember that petrol is a dangerous fuel to start fires. Explosive vapours can instantly build up as it is applied, and as the fire is lit, it can flash and burn you. JUST DON’T DO IT. Broken up candles are a good alternative if you've run out of fire-lighters.
Relevant Blog Posts: