Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Protect your home from outdoor fires

On this page

Protect your home from wildfire

Your home and everything up to 30 meters surrounding it will determine if a fire can burn your house down.

Unlike floods, hurricanes or earthquakes, there are simple and often inexpensive ways to make your home safer and increase its chances of surviving a fire.

Start with your home and work your way out. You can learn more about protecting your property at 

Remove the hazards closest to your home first:

  • Keep gutters clean during summer
  • Put away outdoor furniture covers when not in use
  • Change your doormat to a non-flammable one
  • Screen vents and enclose decks so vegetation and debris can’t collect, and embers can't enter
  • Don’t store flammable material under or against your house or deck.
  • Keep areas that collect debris free over summer months.
  • If you have vegetation against your house, consider removing it or replacing plants with less flammable species.
  • Use stone, cement, tiles and green grass to create a 'clear zone' around your house so surface fires can’t reach your house
  • Keep lawns watered and green during the summer months
  • Prune tree branches to a height of 2 meters or more so ground fire can’t ignite them
  • Remove all trees, long grass, shrubs and logs branches, twigs and needles within 10 meters of your house, as they are fuel for fire
  • Thin trees (with 3-6 meters between crowns) for at least 30 meters from house, this reduces how far and fast a fire can spread
  • Ensure your house number is easy for emergency services to find
  • Make sure your driveway is wide enough to accommodate emergency vehicles (at least 4 x 4 meters)
  • When building or renovating, consider using fire retardant or non-flammable materials, such as corrugated iron roofs, metal fences and double-glazing
  • Store firewood 10 meters or more from the house
  • If you live closer than 30 meters from your neighbor, it will pay to talk to them. What occurs on their property will impact on yours. Check out our guide to your community responsibility for more information.

Learn more about protecting your property at checkitsalright.nz.(external link)


Wildfire prevention and readiness campaign resources

View the latest wildfire prevention and readiness campaign resources designed for our partner agencies and stakeholders to use to share our fire safety messages in the community.

Wildfire safer housing guide

The risk of wildfire threat to housing is on the increase. Factors such as climate change, modern building methods (the trend to open plan design means houses are less compartmentalised), lightweight and composite building materials (often with a synthetic mix) and denser populations living nearer to the natural environment have significantly increased this risk.

If you’re a homeowner living in a rural environment, we’d like to provide some advice on how to better protect your home from wildfire.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand have proactively developed voluntary guidance for housing design to improve the survivability of standalone homes that could be at risk from wildfire.

Using a combination of national and international research from the two domains of Fire Engineering and Wildfire Science, and input from industry and public stakeholders, we have produced the Wildfire Safer Housing Guide to inform design and offer homeowners better protection from wildfire events in New Zealand.

The Guide has been shared with councils, construction industry bodies and regulators, and at-risk communities to raise awareness of ways to protect homes from wildfires.