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Household fire protection tips

Your house catching fire is one of the worst things that can happen. It is even worse in New Zealand where houses are built of materials that support combustion. As virtually every household has a car, its petrol tank is probably in vicinity. The winds are usually high. Kiwis love barbeque, compressed flammable gas bottles and DIY.

You do not have to be guilty in all these and other sins. Your neighbours can share their fire with you. Everyone is invited.

  • Install at least one smoke detector on every floor. They wake you up before you die of smoke inhalation and give you extra time to escape. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas. Check the batteries at least twice a year. The good time is when changing to daylight saving time and back;
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs. Do not carry out electrical installations yourselves, even if this looks trivial on the surface. Make sure that you understand how to choose an electrical cable depending on load, length, proximity to other cables, earthing type, etc. You better leave it to professionals;
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended;
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended — almost half of all candle-related fires start in the bedroom;
  • Use timers when you’re cooking. It’s easy to become distracted;
  • Have household fire extinguisher in working condition and know how to use it. Check the pressure on your extinguisher at least twice an year, when changing to daylight saving time and back;
  • Install fire sprinkler system. While this requires an investment, you may save on insurance;
  • Ensure that there is no combustible material piled on the section;
  • Remove all dry vegetation and leafs;
  • Keep lighters, matches and candles out of reach of children;
  • Keep gutters free of leafs, as they catch fire from sparks landing to your roof from a chimney;
  • Have a fire hose long enough to defend any border of your property.