Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Smoke alarms saved lives this weekend – alerting residents to a kitchen fire in the Hawke’s Bay, giving them time to get out and call 111 so firefighters could extinguish the fire before it spread any further through the house.
“Fire is extremely fast. It can take just three minutes for flames to engulf a room,” says Steve Turek, Fire and Emergency National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery.
“That’s why you need working smoke alarms throughout your house. They will save your life.”
Further South, the Otago Daily Times also reported that one resident was in bed when the smoke alarms woke her to a house fire in Queenstown.
“I came out of my room and looked into the living room and there were flames everywhere,” she said.
“We were really lucky, we got out at the perfect time.”
Steve Turek says without smoke alarms alerting them to the fire, there could have been very different outcomes for the residents – they may not have been so lucky.
“Smoke alarms give you and your whānau early warning of a fire and vital minutes to get out to safety – but they won’t be able to save your life if the batteries are dead,” says Steve Turek.
“Press the button and check they are working once a month.”
“As well as working smoke alarms, it’s important you and your family or housemates prepare and practice an escape plan so if there is a fire, you can get out to safety quickly.”
“An escape plan helps you prepare and think of things like having your keys handy, identifying a second exit in case your normal exit is blocked, and agreeing on a safe meeting place outside your house. Don’t leave it until your house is on fire, because smoke and flames make it hard for you to see, hear and think.”
If you need assistance, you can call 0800 693 473 to organise a free home fire safety visit which includes providing advice about smoke alarms and other fire safety tips.
Fire safety advice
– Make sure your smoke alarms are working – they save lives.
– Have an escape plan so you and your whanau can get to safety quickly.
– Never leave cooking unattended. If you need to leave the stove, turn it off until you get back.