Fire and Emergency is urging New Zealanders to think about fire safety as they self-isolate to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Fire and Emergency Chief Executive Rhys Jones says with people staying home for at least the next four weeks, it’s now more important than ever for everyone to be fire-safe.
“We’re heading into winter, and with households self-isolating together, there’ll be more cooking at home, and more use of open fires, heaters, and dryers - all things which can increase fire risk,” Mr Jones says.
“We regularly attend fires caused by overloaded electrical outlets. So, if you’re working from home, please check your workspace set up to ensure plugs aren’t overloaded. Make sure your heating source is at least a metre away from everything – including other people, laundry and furniture. Keep your cooking surfaces free from grease and please – never, ever leave pans unattended on the stove top.”
Mr Jones says this is a good time to press the button on all your smoke alarms to check they’re working,
“A house fire can kill in five minutes - go over an escape plan with everyone in your household.
“At times like this it’s really important to look after each other. So please also check in with vulnerable family members and neighbours. Do what you can to help them with their own fire safety preparations, as long as you can do so safely, following the advice about physical distancing on covid19.govt.nz.”
Mr Jones says New Zealanders could rest assured that Fire and Emergency was well-prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as usual during the nationwide self- isolation period.
“If you do need to call 111 for a fire, we will ask you whether anyone at the address is self-isolating or has a confirmed case of COVID-19. Where this is the case, we already have necessary measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety including protective clothing, gloves, masks, safety glasses and masks.
“Our top priority is to keep your people and our people safe. Together we can prevent both the spread of COVID-19 and the often-devastating consequences of household fires.”