4 Rules for Fire Safety at Your Office

Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, even when your office has a fully trained fire marshal as part of the team. Here are our top 4 rules for fire safety at the office:

A Fire Safety Plan: No matter how strong your fire prevention strategies and tools, a fire safety plan is essential. Hold regular fire safety drills to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. Every member of your team must know how to access the nearest exit and get to the emergency assembly point.

Services and Checks: Your fire extinguishers should be checked, at least, once a month and serviced and certified by your fire protection company once a year.  But don’t let the responsibility for fire safety rest entirely upon your service providers’ shoulders. Conduct your own regular checks, and ensure that office storage areas are well-organised, and that there are no obstructions to fire exits. Integrate fire safety checks and drills into your annual planning calendar, so you won’t forget.

Organise your Office: Did you know? Open-plan office spaces make it far easier for fire and smoke to travel very quickly. There are, however, key ways to ensure that each office space is fire aware, no matter the layout. This includes:

  • Ensuring that nobody breaks the No Smoking law, even on special occasions, or after hours.
  • Clearing rubbish bins at least once a day so that trash does not accumulate.
  • Storing potentially hazardous materials correctly and ensuring that access to them remains strictly monitored.
  • Unplugging all necessary appliances before you leave the office for the day. Sure, winter may leave us all a little chilly right now, so a heater may be helpful. But, don’t forget to switch it off and unplug it before you go home each day.
  • Regularly checking all wiring on appliances and equipment. Faulty wiring and overloaded plug sockets are often to blame for fires.

The Right Equipment: For a small office building that’s not involved in industrial or manufacturing processes, fire extinguishers and in-building fire protection systems may be enough. But for larger buildings, bigger manufacturing plants, industrial companies, mining companies, and more, fixed fire protection installations are required. Make sure your company makes fire safety a priority – SBS Tanks can help! Call us on 0860 482 657 and we’ll help you make the right fire safety decisions.

 

Water Saving Should Be a Way of Life

Water saving solutions are important, even when we’re experiencing regular rainfall. Drought conditions across the country have been awful to contend with, as Cape Town’s severe drought continues, although Day Zero has been pushed to 2019. That’s no reason to become complacent, however, as our country is a typically water-scarce region. What we can learn from the Cape Town water crisis, however, is that we are all at risk of having to face Day Zero. Let’s consider how the rest of South Africa looks right now:

 

  • Gauteng – although many of this province’s dams are at capacity, level 1 water restrictions are still in place. This is a really good way of operating, because it helps everyone to stop wasting water, and remain mindful of water saving techniques.
  • Eastern Cape – a big focus has been placed on the Western Cape water crisis, but the Eastern Cape is facing a similarly alarming situation. In early March 2018, the average water level of the Nelson Mandela Bay’s dams was at 26%. Notably, the Kouga Dam – is at a dangerously low level.
  • Northern Cape – this province is also battling extreme drought conditions and is one of three provinces that have been declared provincial disaster areas – the others being the Western and Eastern Cape.
  • KwaZulu-Natal – this province’s typical rainy season is over. Some of KZN’s dam are overflowing, while others are at much lower levels than needed to maintain supply across the province. Water restrictions have, just recently, been lifted.
  • Mpumalanga – although this province’s dams average a water level of above 70%, and recent rains have led to an improvement in dam levels, this province cannot get complacent about water saving. Winter is a typically dry season in Mpumalanga and saving water must remain a priority.
  • Free State – dam levels have shown some improvement here, but citizens must continue to save water. Dam levels are, on average, at 60% capacity, which means that saving water now, will help in the future.
  • Limpopo – the Waterberg District Municipality in Limpopo is scarily close to its own Day Zero, and water restrictions are in place.
  • North West –  this province regularly battles with water supply, and although it has experienced some rainfall, conserving water must remain a priority.

What’s the lesson here? Saving water shouldn’t be seasonal. It should be a way of life for every South African. Challenge your family, friends, and colleagues to use water more wisely. The more we invest in water saving today, the more water we’ll have for tomorrow.

Ensuring Everyone Has Clean Water

Over the past few weeks, South Africans have been compelled to think twice about what they put on their plates, and how their food is prepared. The Listeriosis outbreak has served as a terrifying reminder that keeping foodstuffs disease-free and safe to consume is not an easy process. More importantly, it’s not one to be taken for granted.

Ensuring that everyone has easy access to drinakable clean water is a key element of disease prevention. Access to water is a fundamental human right, and without access to clean water, communities and families are in extreme danger.

Drinking unsafe water can lead to diseases, including diarrhoea, cholera, hepatitis, Typhoid A, and more, spreading quite quickly through a community. According to Water Wise, 88% of all diarrhoea cases occur as a result of inadequate hygiene and the consumption of unsafe water. Young children are particularly at risk, with most of the 1.8million people who die from these diseases being under the age of 5.

Ensuring every community has access to clean water is a driving force for SBS Tanks. That’s why the company is keenly involved in rolling out municipal water tanks and often assists by providing water storage solutions to communities in need.

As drought conditions continue in South Africa, collecting rainwater and cycling grey water at home has become common practice. But, there again, the possibility of contracting a disease or illness by consuming unsafe water could occur. Keep your family safe by:

  • Ensuring that your grey water containers are stored out of the reach of children.
  • Ensuring that grey water is only used for washing and ablutions, and never used for drinking.
  • Following good personal hygiene.
  • Rinsing all fruit and vegetables in clean water before consuming.
  • If you are collecting rainwater, remember that it won’t be safe for drinking until it’s been filtered and treated. Rather use collected rainwater for washing, cleaning, and ablutions.
  • Making sure your water storage solutions are regularly maintained, clean, and suitable for your needs. If you’d like some advice, give our team a call – we love to chat water!

SBS Tanks Helps Cape Town Desalination Plant

SBS Tanks® are delighted to announce a partnership with QFS and Osmoflo in providing quality water storage for an emergency desalination plant at the V&A Waterfront area of Cape Town. With the region in the grips of its worst drought on record, the City of Cape Town Municipality have launched a number of alternative water sources projects to mitigate the drought’s effects, with this project being one of the landmarks.

The 7 Osmoflo containers making there way from Cape Town harbour

The project is centred around a fully containerised “seawater reverse osmosis and multimedia filtration plant”. Being a 2 MLD plant (which stands for Minimum Liquid Discharge) made up of 7 containers, it will be able to deliver 2 million litres of water per day to the city’s municipal supply! These 7 containers have been rented out to QFS for a minimum period of 24 months, and were installed within a tight schedule of 8 weeks.

SBS Tanks® were the perfect option for high quality water storage, of which 3 different tanks were needed for the various stages of the reverse osmosis and filtration process. Together they provide a total of 436,000 litres of water storage.

The second container is offloaded and placed in position

Overall it’s been a prime example of swift operations, with the seven containers being shipped from origin in Dubai to Cape Town in under 30 days, and then set up at the Waterfront in under 8 weeks. The City of Cape Town’s dire need to augment water sources has been a major driving force behind the urgency of the project, and has been more than adequately met by some of the world’s best in the water industry.

SBS Tanks® Managing Director, Delayne Gray, was recently in Cape Town to inspect the progress of the installation, and was exceptionally happy with the progress of the project to date: “This is a true unifying project. Everyone has come together with the understanding that the situation in Cape Town is serious.” Gray explains, “And for us we have committed to getting these tanks up in the best possible lead time – I am very pleased with my team’s performance thus far.”

2 of the SBS Tanks® for the project in position

Collaboration is key in order for projects of this scale to be successfully rolled out, and the urgency of the situation in Cape Town shows just how much can be achieved when powerful companies pull together. Over the last 20 years, SBS Tanks® has performed thousands of tank installations around the world – and it is projects such as these, where the true need for access to water is so significantly pronounced – that are the most rewarding.

 

 

 

Water Storage (And Saving) is the Way Forward for the World

South Africans are thinking twice about their leaky taps, and considering water storage solutions quite carefully. Saving water must remain a priority for all of us.

Why is saving water so important in South Africa? It’s this simple: we are the 39th ‘driest’ country in the world. Let’s not forget too, that the Eastern Cape is facing a monumental water crisis – it’s not just Cape Town that’s in jeopardy – it’s the whole country.

While rainfall may fool us into a false sense of water security, our country is water-scarce. In fact, as this article from Africa Check outlines, we received less than 75% of our expected rainfall in 2015, and that put us into drought conditions. And, in light of this article’s findings, it turned even worse during 2016 and 2017.

Putting our rainfall predictions and water supply augmentation ideas aside, saving water should be an imperative for every company, community, and home, in South Africa. Of course, our school curriculum places great emphasis on the importance of saving water, and global initiatives like Water.org also try to bring home the message of water conservation, but when will enough water be saved?

The truth is: never. As the World Bank outlines:

Water is at the centre of economic and social development; it is vital to maintain health, grow food, manage the environment, and create jobs. Despite water’s importance, over 663 million people in the world still lack access to improved drinking water sources.

And that’s why initiatives like World Water Day remain important, because saving water is just the start. Securing the water supply for every citizen is vital for survival and economic growth and creating effective water store solutions is important. Globally, water scarcity has become an even bigger concern, as more and more cities, including London, are predicted to run out of water within the next few decades.

Securing a clean supply of water and creating effective water storage solutions must remain a priority for every country, community, and individual. Check out these ways you can save water at home, use less water when you’re at work, or harvest rainwater at your office. Let us know how you save water, and if we can help you create a water storage solution that works for your needs.

Water Storage Solutions for the Future

The Cape Town water crisis has turned many a dinnertime conversation towards finding ways to produce, conserve, and store, water. But, what solutions would be most effective for our beautiful country, and what water storage solutions work best? Let’s consider the process of desalination.

What is desalination?
Seawater desalination is a process whereby salts and minerals are removed from seawater, to create water that’s suitable for human consumption.

Lessons from Abroad
Desalination, however, isn’t the easiest solution to implement. The costs attached to setting up desalination plants can be terrifying, and there’s also the issue of what water storage solutions to utilise. Notably too, desalination plants can’t be installed overnight – finding the right spot along the coastline, setting up pipes and the plant itself can be quite a lengthy process. This informative and insightful article from BizNews outlined a few more of the problems associated with desalination, while also showcasing how foreign countries had been able to successfully augment their water supply using desalination.

Water for Hotels
One of South Africa’s largest hospitality chains, Tsogo Sun, has invested in a desalination plant that will serve water to three of its hotels in the Cape Town area. The company aims to move its hotels off the municipal water grid in this way, simultaneously decreasing demand on the city’s systems and reducing its hotels’ reliance upon municipal utilities.

Water Storage Solutions
Of course, producing fit-for-consumption water is just the first step. Thereafter, there is a need to pipe that water to where it needs to be, and then store it for use. That’s where we are equipped to step in, and help companies, municipalities, and communities, secure their water supply. Our water storage solutions are built to custom specifications and to fulfil specified needs.  Let our team help you find the best water storage solution that works for you. Contact us here.

How SA’s Restaurants Are Saving Water

With #DayZero swiftly approaching for Cape Town, we’ve been closely monitoring how restaurants and tourism establishments are responding to the drought crisis. We’ve helped many food and beverage establishments find the water storage solutions for their needs, and installed a number of water tanks in Cape Town.

Across the country, however, we should all be considering the act of saving water as a priority, as South Africa is primarily a water-scarce region. As the effects of climate change take hold, causing seemingly unpredictable weather patterns and wreaking havoc on many industries, homes, and communities, treating water as our most precious resource must be an imperative for every person living in South Africa. We took a look at how restaurants and hotels in Cape Town are responding to the water crisis, and listed a few of the more innovative ways they’re saving water below:

During November 2017, EatOut put together this list of handy tips and tricks shared by restauranteurs in the region. We particularly approve of this tip from IYO Burgers:

Jean-Marc Lenferna DeLa Motte of IYO Burgers on Bree Street is also finding new ways to save water: “We make sure that all our plants are watered using grey water and that the chips we boil are done in the same water that they are soaked in and that water is then used to irrigate”.

Interestingly, as reported in a January 2018 Business Day article, restaurants are also changing their menus to adjust to a more water-wise approach in the kitchen. The Vineyard Hotel, for example has:

“…discarded pasta from the menus at their restaurants and patrons can no longer order boiled vegetables. Executive chief Carl Van Rooyen said different cooking techniques have been implemented to save water:“We don’t boil anymore, we steam. We have taken pasta off our dinner menu‚” he said. Water used to wash vegetables was transferred to 200-litre drums and stored for other uses. “No more boiling of anything‚ it is all steaming and frying; deep frying and shallow frying.”

And this handy guide, put together by Food24, outlined how local chef and owner of Saucisse Deli, Amanda Lewis, seeks to save water in her kitchen.

An interruption in water supply can be devastating for any industry, and for food and beverage establishments in South Africa, it’s an operational nightmare, as the effects of climate change take hold. Our experienced team can help – get in touch!

 

 

Water Tanks and Wins from 2017

We’ve started this year off in the best way possible – with continued momentum! Building on the successes and lessons learnt during 2017 is an important part of our planning for 2018, and we’re looking forward to working more closely with many more wonderful customers during this big year. Here’s what we most enjoyed during 2017, as we look forward to growing bigger, working smarter, and helping more people find the right liquid storage solution for their business, home, and community:

Water Conservation at School
During 2017, we helped Atholl Heights Primary School develop and install a rainwater harvesting system. The school created an entire programme around the installation, with pupils participating in a range of activities related to the project. These included: an art competition, assisting in the production and installation, and a special School Assembly. Installing three water tanks at key points within the school premises, we help Atholl Heights Primary School collect up to 86,000 litres of rainwater, which is then used for the bathroom and sanitation facilities. This project wasn’t just a project to us – it was an opportunity to work closely with, and inspire, the leaders of tomorrow.

The Grand Challenge with East Coast Radio
Sponsoring KwaZulu Natal’s favourite radio gameshow was a definitive 2017 highlight for our team. Choosing to collaborate with the province’s favourite radio station, and to support the East Coast Radio Breakfast Show’s Grand Challenge competition, turned out to be one of our company highlights for 2017, and handing over Grand Challenge prizes to clued-up winners was a big, feel-good, bonus for our team. Similarly, we deeply enjoyed providing the storage tank at East Coast Radio house for the Living Well project. Using a water-from-air machine provided by Super Water, the Living Well project provided free, fresh and clean drinking water.

Supporting SA Boxing
During December 2017, we hosted ‘Fight for Water’, a 7-fight night of boxing that included an eliminator battle for the then-vacant SA Super Middleweight Title. That bout ended in a draw after 7 amazing, intense rounds. Our Marketing Manager, James Preston, had this to say: “This is the first time that we have gotten involved in boxing. It has been an incredible eye-opener for us. The amount of work that goes into putting something like this together… I am amazed by how SA Boxing does this, and most of the time at their own expense!” said SBS Tanks Marketing Manager, James Preston. SBS Tanks MD, Delayne Gray, shared his view on SBS Tanks’ involvement in supporting South African sport: “This is our first attempt at sponsorship and getting behind a sport. Big sport has got a lot of people behind it, big names, a lot of money… but there are other sports, marginalised sports, that don’t have a voice – the necessary sponsorship and people behind them, and SBS wants to support the voice of KZN Boxing.”

Adding Another Accolade
During the latter half of October 2017, our team was pleased and proud to not only be nominated for, but also ultimately win the prize for Most Productive Company in South Africa. Rigorous auditing procedures, coupled with all-round commitment and determination to achieve our operational goals, enabled SBS Tanks to take home this highly-respected accolade.

What’s next for us, in 2018? We can’t wait to show you! To find out more about the SBS Tanks team can help your company, get in touch with our team on water@sbstanks.co.za.

Save Water at School

The shoes are shining, the diaries are filling up with sports matches, and the homework pile is set to increase! Now that schools have opened, and the (endless) summer holidays are over, let’s consider ways you can save water at school:

For teachers, principals and school administrators, the concept of water conservation ranks highly in both school curriculum and through school administration. Not only do water-saving activities help to keep municipal utility bills in check, but they’re also a teaching experience, helping every pupil learn important water-saving techniques that they can implement at home, too.

Save Water at School

Water Tanks
During 2017, we helped Atholl Heights Primary School create a unique and purposeful water conservation programme. Installing three of our custom-built SBS Tanks, Atholl Heights Primary School has focused its efforts on rainwater harvesting. By implementing a rainwater harvesting system that feeds into the three, strategically located, water tanks on the school premises, Atholl Heights Primary School is well on its way to conserving and ensuring responsible usage of our world’s most precious resource.

Water Conservation in the Classroom
Of course, water is a fundamental part of life, and of education too. It’s not just for refreshment or cleaning, though, as having a water source in the classroom is essential for projects, experiments and more. Conduct a regular audit of all taps and sinks in your classrooms, and make sure you get any dripping taps attended to as quickly as possible. A single dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water in a year – getting it fixed is key to conserving water.

Save Water at School

Saving Water in the Bathroom
Of course, using water is an important part of staying clean, and the all-important daily ablutions. Wherever possible, look towards installing water-saving devices in showers, toilets, and other facilities within the school.

School Projects Can Help
Hosting competitions and running incentive programmes can be a fun way to encourage school pupils to take water conservation seriously. A poster competition can be held to create attractive notices that remind pupils to use water wisely (the winner gets their prized artwork used throughout the school, and an extra prize too!), and other fun activities can easily be created around the theme of water.

How Schools Do it in South Africa
We’re always excited to see more and more schools take water-saving seriously, so it was fun to find out about Dropula, a special water monitoring device that’s been installed in a few Western Cape schools. Last year, MySchool profiled the water-saving programmes at local schools in Durban and surrounding areas too!

Rainwater harvesting systems, water monitoring devices, water tanks, and an application of good old common sense, can go a long way towards helping your school to save water. If your school is keen to implement a rainwater harvesting system, install a water tank, or just looking for some advice on how to use water a little more wisely in 2018, get in touch with our team!

 

What’s Your Water Usage?

While the City of Cape Town is currently urging residents to use only up to 87 litres per person, a day, we started wondering: what is the standard water usage for a person, every day? Let’s consider the following:

Every time you flush your toilet, you use between 6 and 9 litres of water. Suddenly, every flush seems like a lot of water, right? That’s because it is!

The standard showerhead uses up to 25 litres of water, per minute. That seems crazy to think of, but that’s why using water-efficient, low-flow showerheads, that use only up to 8 litres of water per minute, should be the standard in every home. If we adopt the Cape Town way of showering for only two minutes, turn the water off when we soap up, and keep a bucket in the shower to collect water, we could all save a bundle of water, every day. These 2-minute shower songs could help you get your groove on, and stay within the time limit too.

Washing the dishes every night feels like such a chore, but it’s also a big consumer of water, so don’t feel tempted into filling up the sink twice. Washing a single sinkful of dishes can consume up to 18 litres of water. If you prefer to let your dishwasher do the dirty work, make sure it’s full first. Dishwashers use between 15 and 75 litres of water for a single wash.

Running the washing machine feels so simple, but your standard washing machine uses between 60 to 150 litres of water, for a single wash. That’s why it’s so important to only run your washing machine when it’s full. Otherwise, you’d be wasting water!

Water usage

But, now that you’re clean, your laundry’s done, and your kitchen is spotless, you still need to eat and drink. The standard water usage for a person who cooks one meal a day, drinks 2 litres of water, and then has few cups of tea or coffee every day, averages out to approximately 4 to 5 litres. Let’s not forget – your pet needs to be washed, fed, and watered too, so add in at least an extra litre for them, per pet, per day too!

And, of course, if you have any pesky dripping taps in the house…you’re using way more water than you realise. A single dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres in a year. That’s a whole lot of water, down the drain!

How are you using water more efficiently, and what are your tips for keeping your family’s water usage down? If you’re looking for water storage solutions, or tips on how to cut your water usage, get in touch with our team and let’s chat!