Fire protection specialist Wormald is urging householders to be extra vigilant this winter and ensure they have adequate fire safety equipment in place.
“If a fire occurs, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire blankets are essential for the home’s defence. However, householders need to do more than just buy the product, they need to fully understand where the equipment should be located around the home, exactly how to use it and when it will need to be serviced or replaced,” says Peter Fermor, General Manager with Wormald New Zealand.
According to the NZ Fire Service , in over 80% of house fires attended in 2011 smoke alarms were either not installed or not working.
Fermor advises householders to ensure smoke alarms are installed, tested regularly and that batteries are replaced at least once a year. “In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can assist in providing the precious time needed to act or escape – but to be effective they need to be in proper working order.”
To help minimise the risk of fire, householders are encouraged to run through a mental checklist before leaving the house or going to bed.
• Ensure heaters are turned off on the appliance, as well as at the wall
• Switch off electric blankets before going to bed
• Be mindful not to place clothes or towels near heaters or let curtains fall near them
• If using candles double check they’ve been blown out
• Don’t leave matches and lighters lying around; store away safely