Protecting your school and assets

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Protecting your school and assets

Arson can have a significant impact on a school and its community.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps all schools can take to improve fire safety and reduce the likelihood of arson on their grounds.

Keep bins and skips away from outside walls 

  • Keep all fixed bins and wheelie bins at least 2 metres away from all buildings.
  • Lock and secure bins so they can't be moved up against buildings.

Remove materials that can be used to set fires

  • Empty bins every night and weekend if school grounds are being used, e.g. sports, fairs.
  • Remove loose combustible items from under buildings, e.g. timber, desks, school crafts.
  • Lock recycle bins after hours.
  • Monitor school boundaries. Keep an eye out for nearby rubbish that could be easily carried to school grounds. 

Install or increase security lights

  • Leave external lights on at night, or increase timer periods for sensor lights.
  • Cut back vegetation to make school buildings more visible and minimise places for arsonists to hide. 

Involve the community

  • Ask neighbours and parents to keep an eye on the school and report any fires and serious vandalism to Police immediately.

Confront all fire-setting behaviour

  • Report any minor fire lighting to Police. Lighting fires is not normal or acceptable behaviour, and is likely to continue if left unaddressed.
  • Increase night security patrols during November.
  • Record all information about fire-setting incidents for possible use by Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
  • Contact your local Fire Risk Management Officer though your nearest fire station. They may be able to visit the school and provide additional advice if required.

The Fire Awareness Intervention Programme

We offer a free programme to assist where young people are showing a fascination about fire.

The Fire Awareness and Intervention Programme (FAIP) has a 90% success rate in ending fire-setting behaviour. It can be directed to known fire-setters or to school groups if you don't know who is lighting the fires. 

For further advice about the FAIP, see our guide to what to do if your child is lighting fires, or call 0800 FIREINFO.