Fire and Emergency New Zealand wants people to take two easy steps this Daylight Saving weekend when our clocks go forward one hour.
Check your smoke alarms’ expiration dates and check their batteries.
Steve Turek, National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery, says it only takes three minutes for a house fire to become deadly.
“Working smoke alarms will give you and your family the best chance possible of escaping a potential house fire,” Turek says.
“If you can, also check in on family, friends or neighbours who aren’t able to check their own smoke alarms.”
Some 85 per cent of people say they have smoke alarms installed in their houses.
But between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 only 60 per cent of house fire callouts Fire and Emergency attended had working smoke alarms.
Of the houses that had smoke alarms, ten per cent of those households were not alerted to the fire by their smoke alarms. This means there was an issue with the installed alarm.
Turek says this goes to show how important it is to install smoke alarms throughout your house, and to regularly check the batteries and the alarms’ expiration dates.
“Smoke can’t be detected through closed doors, and you can’t smell smoke when you’re asleep, so we encourage households to install smoke alarms in common areas, bedrooms and hallways.
“By ensuring good coverage across your house, you can have peace of mind that any fire will trigger off an alarm.”
Turek says with this year’s Daylight Saving coinciding with New Zealand Sign Language Week, it is a good time to remind New Zealanders about fire safety tools for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
“There are a number of specialised smoke alarm systems available for people who are Deaf or are Hard of Hearing. These alarms have extra features such as extra loud and lower pitch alarm sounds, vibrating alarms or flashing strobe lights,” Turek says.
Fire and Emergency recommends getting in touch with Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand for advice around which hearing-impaired smoke alarm is most suitable.
If you need assistance, you can call 0800 693 473 to organise a free home fire safety visit which includes providing advice about smoke alarms and other fire safety tips.
Fire safety advice
– Make sure your smoke alarms are working – they save lives.
– Have an escape plan so you and your whanau can get to safety quickly.
– Never leave cooking unattended. If you need to leave the stove, turn it off until you get back.
- Check out this site for more fire safety tips