Rural home fire safety checklist

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Rural home fire safety checklist

Live rurally and want to make sure your home is fire safe? Here’s a quick and easy checklist you can use to spot any risks or hazards that might cause a fire.

Walk through each part of your house and check off each point as you go. If a point doesn't apply to you (for example, if you don't have a fireplace), give it a tick.

This checklist is for people who own a house in a rural area.

Kitchen

  • The stovetop is clean and free of any spilled fats or burnt foods.
  • The rangehood filters have been cleaned recently.
  • There's a fire extinguisher near the kitchen and I know how to use it.

Living room and bedrooms

  • There are smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway in the house — ideally, long-life photoelectric ones.
  • Any powerpoints or multi-boards are not overloaded with appliances that use a lot of power, like heaters.
  • Matches, lighters or other fire starting tools are stored out of reach of children.
  • Lights are fitted with the correct bulb size and rating (in watts).
  • Electric blankets are in good condition, and not more than 5 years old.
  • There's a torch near every bed (in case of emergencies).
  • The fireplace has a screen with a proper fireguard, and the chimney has been checked and/or swept in the last year.

Outdoors

  • Your Rural Address Property Identification (RAPID) Number is clearly posted in a place that's visible to emergency vehicles.
  • You've established priority zones around your property to reduce the risk of fire damaging your home.
  • You have a fire-fighting water supply that is accessible in an emergency, and clearly indicated.
  • BBQ fittings are tight and secure, and there's at least 1 metre of clear space around the BBQ. Use the soap bubble test [link to BBQs and Gas cylinders page] to make sure there are no leaks.
  • Flammable liquids in sheds or garages are stored in appropriate containers.
  • There's an easy way for emergency vehicles to access the property.

Laundry

  • There's no lint built up in the clothes dryer filter (you should check this after every use).
  • The clothes dryer has been checked recently by a professional to ensure there's no dust built up in the back (don't open up the dryer yourself, as this will breach the warranty).
  • There's plenty of ventilation and air space around the clothes dryer.