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Your life may depend on it - step up and get fire safe

Your life may depend on it - step up and get fire safe

People are being urged to make sure their homes have basic fire prevention, set up and in working order, following the death of a 97-year-old man in a house fire on Auckland’s Northshore last Friday.

"This was a preventable tragedy," Fire and Emergency Te Hiku /Auckland Manager Ron Devlin says.

"Our crews found a heater too close to combustible materials in the burnt- out house and they couldn’t find any evidence of smoke detectors.

"If smoke detectors had been present, neighbours may have been able to raise the alarm faster or the man himself may have become aware of the danger more quickly. Fires can be fatal in five minutes so early warning is vital.

"This was the second death in a fire since July this year and it is two too many.

"I’m asking people to step up and physically check if they have working smoke alarms in their homes. Check they are working by pressing the button. If they don’t have smoke alarms, put them in. Or call Fire and Emergency 0800 693 473 for advice."

Ron Devlin says people should also take a close look at the way they heat their homes.

"Too many fires are caused by heaters placed too close to furniture or curtains. Keep them a metre away, or consider an alternative, safer source of heating.

"See if you have a clear route out of the house in case of fire. If you don’t, plan one - and walk the family through it. An easy way to make your escape plan is by visiting www.escapemyhouse.nz

"And if you are looking out for an elderly or vulnerable person, part of checking in on them should include these basic fire checks. They are as important as making sure there’s enough food in the fridge.

"It’s important people go the extra mile for themselves and for any vulnerable relatives and neighbours and proactively make sure they and their loved ones are fire safe.

"Their lives may depend on it."


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