Make your home safe for the holiday season

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Make your home safe for the holiday season

Protect your loved ones, and prepare your home for the summer break festivities

Kiwi Christmas means BBQs and lots of rellies cramming into the home. But Fire and Emergency New Zealand is warning with the festive season, there comes additional fire risks with summer activities and having more people in the home.

“The last thing we want is for people’s summer holidays to be ruined by a fire causing harm to loved ones, or damage to property,” said Peter Gallagher, National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Fire and Emergency.

“We want everyone to have a great summer break and take some simple steps to prepare their homes to be fire-safe for the holiday season."

“When you drag the BBQ out after winter, check it for any gas leaks with the soapy water test before you fire it up. It’s a simple thing to do to make sure you can enjoy your summer barbie,” said Mr Gallagher.

A fire can kill you in less than five minutes so it is really important you have working smoke alarms throughout your home to give you early warning, and a well-practiced your escape plan so everyone who is staying in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

You can’t smell smoke when you are asleep, so make sure there are working, long-life photoelectric smoke alarms in all areas people will be sleeping.

Fire is fast and disorienting. Talk to guests about how they would all get out in the event of a fire and where your agreed safe meeting place is so you can know everyone is out. “People crashing on sofas or camp beds can block access for people to escape quickly. Make sure exits are clear for people to escape and remove things that will ignite easily, like wrapping paper,” said Mr Gallagher.

Protect your loved ones, and prepare your home for the summer break festivities:

Watch how fast a fire is, with our virtual reality house fire experience - especially if anyone gets VR goggles for Christmas escapemyhouse.co.nz.

Check out our Fast Fire Fact videos with tips for these summer safety messages.

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Editor’s Note: It is a year since a fire at a Flat Bush home claimed the lives of four family members. Our thoughts continue to be with the family, friends, and community.