Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Keep looking while you’re cooking

Keep looking while you’re cooking

Fire and Emergency is reminding New Zealanders to never leave cooking unattended following two recent house fires in Auckland.

Specialist Fire Investigators found that both incidents started after oil heating in a pan left unattended caught fire.

Firefighters were able to extinguish both fires, but not before the quickly spreading fires had badly damaged both houses, leaving two families having to find alternative accommodation.

This is a timely reminder to always keep an eye on what you’re cooking.

It only takes a brief distraction from cooking for a fire to start - whether it’s a phone call, something interesting on television, a bathroom break or your tamariki wanting your attention.

Once a fire starts, it spreads very quickly and a house fire can become deadly within just a few minutes.

More than one in four house fires starts in the kitchen. If you need to step away from the stove - even just for a moment - make sure you turn it off until you get back.

Fortunately both houses had working smoke alarms which gave the occupants early warning and enough time to get out.

Working smoke alarms are essential to give you and your whānau an early warning of fire. It’s also important you have an escape plan prepared so that you can get out quickly and safely.

If you haven’t done this already, press the button on your smoke alarms to check they are working and make an escape plan at

Doing these simple things to make sure you are prepared could save your and your whānau’s life.

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