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Helpful Tips To Reduce Fire Risks Outside Your Home

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is keen for Kiwis to protect their homes from the risk of fire.

National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery, Steve Turek says it is important to check and monitor flammables surrounding your home.

"Spending time now to identify potential wildfire fire risks around your house will reduce considerable stress down the line," Steve Turek says.

"We recommend homeowners start by removing leaves from gutters. While the leaves may be soggy and heavy now, a week of sunshine can quickly dry them out and turn them into paper-like fire spreaders," he says.

"It is also important to prune back bushes and trees, especially within 30 metres of your house. Having large unmanaged trees and bushes can increase a fire’s ability to spread around your property."

"Once you have tidied up your trees, gutters and bushes around the section, we’d also encourage you to get rid of any dead plant material. Once dead plant material dries it becomes highly flammable," Mr Turek says.

Ensuring your property is well taken care of can stop a fire from spreading over dozens or hundreds of hectares, if you live in a rural or semi-rural area.

Fire and Emergency also wants people to think about fire safety even when undertaking fairly basic activities.

"We have seen in the past fires can be caused by insignificant actions like lawnmowing, barbequing or lighting a small brazier," Mr Turek says.

"Every fire starts with a spark or a small source site. Take care when you mow the lawn or light a fire during these warmer months.

"We are also keen to see Kiwis create burn plans for any planned fires, no matter the size."

"Making sure you have water nearby, lighting fires away from flammables and only lighting on calm days will reduce the risk of fire spreading," Mr Turek says.

You can get more information on protecting your home from outdoor fires here: https://www.fireandemergency.nz/at-home/protect-your-home-from-outdoor-fires/

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