Posted by Standard Bank Namibia on 19 Oct 18
Apart from the searing heat, the weather in Namibia can be fairly benign. But coastal storms, heavy thundershowers, lightning and accidental fires can wreak havoc.
Here are a few handy tips for protecting your home against the elements.
Let it rain
Rain is so treasured in our country its appearance usually inspires celebration. But when the celebrations are over, it pays to put a few precautions in place.
First, if you hear the roll of thunder and crack of lightning, unplug everything you can, especially the items which are expensive to replace, such as laptops, TVs, decoders, WiFi routers etc. For the fridge, make sure you use surge-protector plugs to minimise the risk.
While the weather is still clear, check your roof and gutters. Make sure to replace any loose or broken tiles which would let the water in. And get those gutters unclogged so that water doesn’t accumulate and seep into your ceiling.
Protect your lapa
Thatch roofs are great for lounging under on a hot day, but they also present a huge fire risk. If yours isn’t protected with a lightning conductor, make that a priority. Ask the professionals for advice on how high your masts should be, based on the angle of your roof.
It’s important to treat the thatch with a fire-retardant chemical. If you’re building a new house and planning a thatch roof, the retardant should be installed inside the thatch as the roof is being raised.
You may consider installing a drencher system at the highest point of the roof which could prevent fires from hopping from one roof to another. Speaking of which, make sure the area surrounding your thatch is kept free. If it’s close to a boundary wall or another roof, the danger of fires spreading in windy conditions is considerable.
Make sure you keep a hosepipe nearby and fire extinguishers should always be at the ready. Get an electrician in to check that all power points are firing well – pardon the pun.
Prepare for the worst
As much as we prefer to avoid thinking about emergencies, you’d be wise to prepare for any eventuality. It could save your life. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
• Gather all relevant emergency numbers and display them in an obvious place
• Take note of warnings on certain appliances
• Check electrical cables regularly for damage
• Make sure your recently-smoked ciggie or cigar is completely out before you toss it in the bin
• Never leave candles, heaters or lit fireplaces unattended
• If the worst happens and a fire occurs, stay low to the ground and get out quick
• Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth
• If you have an oil fire, use bicarbonate of soda instead of water to put it out
These dangers are rare, but if you’re prepared for them, they become worries which you can store far away in the back of your brain.
For further peace of mind, get your property and assets insured. Simply call 081 9286 and ask to speak to a Standard Bank Insurance Broker.