Two fire deaths in four days – plan how you would escape

Published: Fri 29 Jul 2016 05:03 PM
Two fire deaths in four days – plan how you would escape a house fire and stay safe
With two avoidable fire deaths this week - we are urging people to make sure family and friends are prepared to escape a house fire if the worst should happen.
These recent deaths bring the toll of preventable fire-deaths to eight this year.
“While we still don’t know the causes of the recent fatal fires at Ashhurst, just out of Palmerston North and Woolston, in Christchurch, they serve as a sobering reminder to make sure your family and friends are as fire-safe as possible. This means having working smoke alarms– and make an agreed escape plan, says National Advisor Fire Risk Management Todd O’Donoghue.
“Most people don’t realise that the early stages of a fire can generate enough deadly smoke to kill a person, yet it hardly makes a sound. That is why working smoke alarms are your only voice.
“People also need to have an escape plan figured out that includes at least two ways out of every room in the event of fire.
“We urge people to talk about fire safety - ask others if they have smoke alarms and when they tested them last. Talk about what they would do to escape their home if there was a fire and make sure everyone has working smoke alarms.
“Sadly many people who live alone don’t have these conversations. If you have family, friends or neighbours who live alone ask them talk to them about fire-safety and make sure they are looked after,” says Mr O’Donoghue.
The New Zealand Fire Service recommends:
• Install long-life photoelectric smoke alarms – they have a built in battery that lasts up to ten years
• Plan how to escape your house in a fire that includes at least two ways out of every room. This could mean getting through the security doors or escaping out a window that has security latches on it. It may mean breaking a window, laying bedding on it and climbing out
• Have an agreed meeting place, such as a letterbox, where everyone in the household can meet
• Never re-enter a burning building.

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