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Keeping fire safe this festive season – FENZ

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is reminding people to make fire safety a priority these holidays.

“A classic Kiwi summer means firing up the barbecue and having friends and family over to stay and we want everyone to have an enjoyable summer break,” says Risk Reduction and Investigations Manager Peter Gallagher.

“Holidays add additional fire risks with summer activities happening and more people staying with friends or sleeping in places they normally wouldn’t,” he says.

“A fire can be deadly in less than five minutes, so it is important to make sure all sleeping areas – including sleepouts – have a working smoke alarm. Have a 3-step escape plan with two clear exits from each room and a safe meeting place. Go to www.escapeplanner.co.nz to make an escape plan for your home.

“Give your barbecue a good clean before each use and check for gas leaks using the soapy water test,” says Peter Gallagher. “Spray or brush a solution of dishwashing liquid and water on to the connection and hose. Turn the gas on and if bubbles start to show up, you have a leak.

“Then turn off the gas valve, tighten the connection and test it again, if there’s no bubbles then you’re good to go.

“Always barbecue in a well-ventilated area and away from anything that can catch fire.”

Lithium-ion batteries are used in a lot of presents people will be receiving this Christmas, including e-scooters, e-bikes, toys, tools, and phones, Peter Gallagher says.

“Always use the correct battery and charger for your device – check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure they’re compatible.

“Make sure you charge batteries and devices on a hard, flat surface not under a pillow, on a bed or couch because they can overheat and cause a fire. If you notice anything unusual with your battery, stop using it straight away.

“Take a few minutes to put these small measures in place which will help protect your whānau and friends ahead of the holiday season.”


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