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Escape Plans & Smoke Alarms For High Risk Families

27 June 2002

Craig Gush (Qualified Fire Fighter) cradles 5 week old birthday baby, Charlotte Louise Rempala at the Plunket and NZ Fire Service “Smoke Alarm Campaign” launch at the Lower Hutt Fire Station today. The campaign aims to provide high need, high risk homes with donated smoke alarms to reduce the number of deaths, injury and millions of dollars of property damage caused by fire each year.

Plunket nurses, Plunket Kaiawhina and Community Karitane who visit families with young babies in the Nelson, Wairarapa, Porirua, Hutt and Wainuiomata areas will now be able to identify homes in need of smoke alarms.

The "Smoke Alarm Campaign" launched today in partnership with the NZ Fire Service came about when a Plunket nurse and a fire safety officer met at an injury prevention meeting to raise awareness of fire safety in the home.

Both organisations aim to reduce the number of deaths, injury and millions of dollars of property damage caused by fire each year.

Around 850 smoke alarms have been donated at the value of around $15 each to the campaign by Mitre 10, Harkness and Young, Soroptomist, ACC, NZ Fire Service and the Royal NZ Plunket Society.

Esther Read, Plunket area manager for Wellington and the Wairarapa said the campaign is part of Plunket's work in health promotion and prevention of unintentional injury.

"90% of families choose Plunket as their well child provider and with the aid of a Plunket nurse, we can identify homes in need of smoke alarms. The fire service will then install smoke alarms free of charge in the sleeping and living areas of homes of young families and provide fire safety advice and assist in setting up an escape plan in case of a fire."

Once a home is identified, Plunket will give the family a Fire Safety pack which includes a bright yellow voucher that when signed by Plunket is valid for the smoke alarms to be fitted.

Fire Safety Officer, Henry Stechman who initiated the campaign said it is through the work of Plunket nurses, "at risk homes" are identified and hopes to implement the campaign throughout the country.

"This campaign is an excellent opportunity for the fire service to install smoke alarms in homes we don't normally have access to and with the help of Plunket nurses, we are able to identify these homes and help in achieving fire safety for families and young children."


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