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Fire and Emergency warns people to make their home safe

Fire and Emergency warns people to make their home safe for the holiday season

Kiwi Christmas means BBQs and lots of rellies cramming into the home. But Fire and Emergency New Zealand is warning with the festive season, there comes additional fire risks with summer activities and having more people in the home.

"The last thing we want is for people’s summer holidays to be ruined by a fire causing harm to loved ones, or damage to property," said Peter Gallagher, National Advisor Fire Risk Management, Fire and Emergency.

"We want everyone to have a great summer break and take some simple steps to prepare their homes to be fire-safe for the holiday season.

"When you drag the BBQ out after winter, check it for any gas leaks with the soapy water test before you fire it up. It’s a simple thing to do to make sure you can enjoy your summer barbie," said Mr Gallagher.

A fire can kill you in less than five minutes so it is really important you have working smoke alarms throughout your home to give you early warning, and a well-practiced your escape plan so everyone who is staying in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Think about where people will be sleeping when they are staying with you. You can’t smell smoke when you are asleep, so make sure there are working, long-life photoelectric smoke alarms in all areas people will be sleeping.

Fire is fast and disorienting. Talk to guests about how they would all get out in the event of a fire and where your agreed safe meeting place is so you can know everyone is out of the house. "People crashing on sofas or camp beds can block access for people to escape quickly. Make sure exits are clear for people to escape and remove things that will ignite easily, like wrapping paper," said Mr Gallagher.

Protect your loved ones, and prepare your home for the summer break festivities:
- Check your BBQ for gas leaks using the soapy water test.
- Save the beers for after the BBQ, and get takeaways or use a microwave for a feed when you come back from the Christmas function.
- Give air conditioners a vacuum before using, the build-up of lint can be a fire risk.
- Make sure all sleeping areas have a working, long-life photoelectric smoke alarm.
- If your door has a deadlock, leave the key in so people can escape quickly.
- Keep exits clear.
- Have an agreed safe meeting place and make sure any guests know where this is, and how to escape in the event of a fire. Go to to make an escape plan for your home
Watch how fast a fire is, with our virtual reality house fire experience - especially if anyone gets VR goggles for Christmas
Check out our Fast Fire Fact videos with tips for these summer safety messages.


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