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Check your home for safety: Paraffin

8 Tips for a safer home

Done in 1 hour
Skill level easy

Paraffin is not a very safe method of cooking or lighting. If you use it, make sure to follow these safety tips.

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Check: Our paraffin stove and lamps are clean and burn clearly

Check: Our paraffin is stored safely in a cupboard or packet on a hook out of the reach of children

Check: Our paraffin bottles are clearly labelled. Paraffin is not kept in cool-drink or milk bottles that could confuse people, especially children

Check: We use a funnel and not a cup to pour paraffin into the lamps and stove

You can also use the cut off top of a cool-drink bottle as a funnel. Store the funnel with the paraffin and don’t use it for other purposes.

Check: Our paraffin stove and lamps are always on level, sturdy surfaces and out of the way of playing children

Check: Our paraffin lamps are always covered with a glass lamp shade and never burn with an open flame

Check: Our paraffin is kept in a clean container and we never mix it with other fuels, such as methylated spirits, oil or petrol

Mixing fuels can be very dangerous and may cause explosions. Petrol and paraffin make a particularly dangerous combination.

Sometimes, paraffin is accidentally mixed with a bit of petrol that may be left at the bottom of a transport tank. Smell your paraffin to check that it does not contain any petrol. If it has a pinkish colour, immediately return it to the retailer, and get them to contact their suppliers.

Check: All family members know what to do in case someone accidentally drinks paraffin

  • Do not try to make the person vomit. The fumes could enter their lungs and cause pneumonia.
  • Do not give the person anything to drink or eat.
  • Do not let the person lie down. Make them stand up or sit upright.
  • Take the person to the clinic or hospital immediately and take the paraffin container with you.
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