Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Rural fires highlight need for home sprinklers

Rural fires highlight need for home sprinklers

January 20, 2006

Two large house fires in the space of 24 hours in rural Manukau have left two devastated families without homes, highlighting the need to protect rural and lifestyle properties from fires.

The first fire in Griggs Road, Whitford, on Wednesday night (January 18) is believed to have started in the kitchen and left virtually no trace of the large house behind.

The second, on Clifton Road, Whitford, last night levelled a house while the owner was away. The fire’s cause is still being investigated, with fire investigators not ruling out arson.

Both fires were in lifestyle blocks out of Manukau City, without reticulated water and Manukau District fire safety officer George Stephens says both fires would have had dramatically different results had sprinklers been installed.

“If you look at both of these houses, there’s nothing left. Sprinklers would most likely have contained the fires to the room they started in.

“If you’re going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building properties like these, it makes sense to invest a few thousand in making sure they will survive a major fire.”

Mr Stephens says people in rural areas close to the city need to realise that even if they call 111 immediately, the Fire Service is at least ten minutes away and a lack of reticulated water access means more time is lost setting up hoses and pumps to fight the fire.

Manukau City Council principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle agrees people in lifestyle blocks need to think fire safety from a rural perspective, rather than an urban one.

“It’s one thing giving the address to the Fire Service, but it another to have someone at the end of the driveway to help firefighters find the property.”

Mr Cartelle says valuable times is wasted as firefighters try to identify the correct property on unlit roads with long driveways hiding the house from the street.

He says rural property owners need to be aware that firefighters can’t bring enough water with them to fight big fires and need access to other supplies.

“We often don’t know there’s a swimming pool on the property, and if the smoke is blowing that way, we won’t see it.”

Mr Cartelle estimates 180,000 litres of water was pumped onto one of the fires.

A home sprinkler would have extinguished it in a matter of minutes pumping between 60 and 100 litres per minute.

Mr Cartelle says he is happy to discuss with any rural property owners how to get around these problems, but reiterates the Fire Service message that sprinklers and smoke alarms are the best means of defence against fire.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news