Firefighters don’t like fire movies

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Firefighters don’t like fire movies

Firefighters don’t like fire movies. They make you think you’ve seen house fires. But you haven’t.

Here’s what the movies don’t tell you:

  • Smoke from a house fire can kill in less than three minutes.
  • One third (33%) of the residential fires we were called to last year did not have smoke alarms installed.
  • You are four times more likely to survive a house fire if you have a working smoke alarm.

Hollywood is partially responsible for some of our false beliefs about the survivability of house fires.  In the movies when there’s a fire, there’s fire trucks outside and people standing on the street while firefighters rush in and out, saving members of the family. Real housefires are a whole different story.

Our new campaign reveals the realities of what our firefighters see and experience in attending housefires every day throughout New Zealand. For those that haven’t experienced a housefire, the campaign aims to dispel myths of what a housefire is like and how different the reality is to what see in movies.

The TV ad follows Senior Firefighter Aaron Jackson, in the aftermath of a fatal house fire. It is available in English and Te reo Māori. 15 second versions of both are also available.

Aaron shares, “When I read the script I could see that there was no skimping on reality – it is very real script.”

The campaign encourages us all to install working smoke alarms, in the right places, in our homes. For more information visit

Please find below copies of the campaign posters and several social media images you are welcome to use through your channels alongside the following key message:

In a real house fire, you have less than three minutes to escape, or you die. So give yourself a warning.

Install working smoke alarms today