Stay safe in your bubble at home
With everybody now at home for the COVID-19 self-isolation period, it is more important than ever to check your home is fire safe and to be vigilant about fire safety in everything you do.
"Checking your smoke alarms are working doesn't take long and it could save your life," says Fire and Emergency New Zealand National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Pete Gallagher.
"Smoke alarms don't last forever; they all have expiry dates and will need to be replaced.
"If your alarm needs to be replaced, smoke alarms are available in most supermarkets and online. It may be a different brand and style to the one it’s replacing but as all smoke alarms in New Zealand must meet strict international standards you can be assured it will work correctly."
Fire and Emergency New Zealand has some simple advice for everyone:
If you don’t have smoke alarms - get them - they save lives.
Check the smoke alarm batteries once a month starting this daylight saving weekend by pressing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t have a button, check its expiry date.
If you can’t reach the button and don’t have a ladder, use a broom handle.
Dust and debris can stop alarms from working properly and cause false alarms, so vacuum over and around the alarms regularly.
And please stay vigilant as you move about your homes.
FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST
Check your smoke alarms. They will save your life
Don’t assume smoke alarms are working, press the button to check.
Make a household escape plan and practice it. A house fire can kill in less than five minutes. If you live in an apartment make sure the entrance and exit points are clear and free.
Don’t overload plugs. One appliance to each wall plug or multi-board socket. We regularly attend fires caused by overloaded electrical outlets. So, if you’re working from home, please check your workspace set up to ensure plugs aren’t overloaded.
Keep EVERYTHING and EVERYONE at least a metre away from the heater.
Never leave electric blankets on while you sleep.
Dispose of fire place ashes in a steel bucket with water. Ashes can stay hot enough to ignite for five days.
Use candles safely and never leave them unattended.
Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
Keep looking while you’re cooking. Turn off if you leave the kitchen. Keep your cooking surfaces free from grease and please - never, ever leave pans unattended on the stove top.
Don’t drink and fry. Unattended cooking fires are the number one cause of all structure fires in NZ in the past five years.
New Zealanders can be confident that Fire and Emergency is well-prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as usual during the nationwide self- isolation period.
If you do need to call 111 for a fire, we will ask you whether anyone at the address is self-isolating or has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Where this is the case, we already have necessary measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety including protective clothing, gloves, masks, safety glasses and mask.
"Please keep fire safe and help us to help you."
For more information visit: https:www.fireandemergency.nz