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Be fire safe in caravans and sleep outs

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is urging people living in caravans, campervans, garages and sleep outs to take extra care to be fire safe.

National Advisor Fire Risk Management Pete Gallagher says there is anecdotal evidence more people are living in such temporary arrangements during the COVID-19 lockdown to try to keep themselves isolated from their whānau and loved ones.

"While we appreciate that people are doing this often with the best intentions to limit contact with others we want to make sure that they do this as safely as possible.

"A lot of these spaces can be crammed and not set-up properly for living. As winter approaches people will also be using heaters more. All this poses an increased fire risk.

"Our crews have attended several fires in such accommodation in the last few weeks.

"We are asking people to be extra vigilant."

Install a smoke alarm - Fire moves extremely fast and a smoke alarm could save your life.

Make sure you have an escape route and keep it clear at all times.

Never leave cooking unattended - and don’t drink and fry.

Do not overload your plugs.

Never use candles in an enclosed space.

Keep clothes, furniture and other flammables at least 1 metre away from heaters -fan heaters with a cut-off switch are the safest.

Keep in contact with those living near-by and ensure people know you are living in temporary living spaces

Pete says the risk of fire is higher under the lockdown and fire safety is more important than ever.

"We want to see everyone come out of this lockdown period safely."

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