Fire safety and prevention
Fires can be caused by many things we use in our homes – the stove, electric blankets, heaters and clothes dryers. A few simple safety precautions can help to prevent a fire harming your family and damaging your home:
- Install smoke alarms in hallways and bedrooms, and check the batteries regularly.
- Dispose of cigarette and fireplace ashes into metal bins and leave to cool.
- Check electrical equipment and extension cords for signs of wear.
- Keep heaters a metre away from curtains, furniture and children.
The New Zealand Fire Service website has more tips and facts about fire safety.
Fire safety for kids
Children are naturally drawn to the heat and light of a fire. The best way to teach your kids about fire safety is by example. Let your children see you being sensible and careful with cooking, candles, electrical equipment and smoking.
Sit down with the whole family and talk about what to do if there is a fire. Draw a plan of your house and your escape routes, and decide on a meeting place somewhere nearby and safe.
It's important to talk through with children what to do if there's a fire. Don't avoid it for fear of frightening them. Children need to know the basics of how to react, because there may not be an adult around to tell them what to do if a fire happens.
Make sure that kids know their home address and how to call 111 so they can raise the alarm.