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Safely Cooking Hāngī, Umu, Braai Or Lovo This Holiday Season

This holiday season Fire and Emergency New Zealand encourages people using cultural cooking methods such as hāngī, umu, braai or lovo to make sure you’re cooking safely.

Fire and Emergency Deputy Chief Executive Kaupapa Māori and Cultural Communities Piki Thomas says it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of the fire getting out of control.

"Although you don’t need a permit for cultural cooking in a restricted season, you will need a permit if you don’t meet the following conditions," he says.

"Make sure your fire is less than two square metres in size and is at least three metres away from buildings, hedges, shelter belts or any other material that is likely to catch fire.

"Remove any grass and dry leafy foliage around the base of the fire pit.

"Have a water hose handy within at least five metres of your fire to put it out if it gets out of control," he says.

Piki Thomas says as the days are getting hotter and dryer, it’s important keep an eye on the weather conditions on the day.

"To reduce the risk of a fire getting out of control, please don’t light any fire on a windy day, regardless of the fire season.

"If you’re unsure, head to www.checkitsalright.co.nz for fire safety advice and to check your local fire danger level," he says.

Piki Thomas also suggests having a kōrerō with your neighbours to let them know that you’re lighting a fire, so they know not to call the Fire Brigade.

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"Hāngī, umu, braai and lovo bring whānau and friends together for the festive season. So, let’s make sure we’re keeping our whānau and friends safe by cooking safely.

"Otherwise, be safe this summer, kia haumaru te wā harikoa," he says.

More information on cultural fires is available here https://www.checkitsalright.nz/reduce-your-risk/cultural-cooking-fires

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