Top tips from our ‘Safety at Home’ event

15 August 2014

Did you know that your local fire station provides a FREE home safety check and will install (pre-purchased) smoke alarms for you? With most fire fatalities due to people inhaling toxic gases and smoke from fires while asleep, there is no excuse for not having a working fire alarm in your home.

Jason and Linda from NZ Fire Service were first up at our ‘Safety at Home’ evening on Tuesday 12 August, and enthralled us with stories and statistics from their fire investigation work. They said despite advertising, education and common-sense, of the 4000 NZ Fire Service callouts last year, 80% didn’t have working smoke alarms.

Further sobering news followed: a video which showed it takes just one minute for a fire at home to reach 250 degrees, and another minute to reach over 700 degrees! If you’re ever in a fire, you need to get out as quickly as you can. Forget about your stuff: “possessions can be replaced. People can’t”.

Further advice from NZ Fire Service:

  • Modern photoelectric smoke alarms are preferable and last longer (10 years) than ionisation smoke detectors. At around $40 they are also more cost-effective than replacing the 9V batteries on older alarms.
  • Get your electric blankets tested every year to ensure they’re not a fire risk.

For more information and to contact your local fire station, see the New Zealand Fire Service website.

Next up was St John Ambulance. With just half an hour upskill our audience in all things first aid, they gave us some excellent advice:

  • Before going to help someone, ensure your own safety first.
  • If someone is unconscious, always call an ambulance. Perform CPR at ratio of 30:2 breaths to chest compressions – “30:2, no matter who”.
  • If there is bleeding: elevate the area and get the patient to apply pressure if they can.

If you’d like to book a first aid course, see the St John website.

After the presentations, residents enjoyed a chat over a cuppa and homemade baking. Ruth’s oaty cookies and Lynda’s Weet-bix slice proved especially popular.

Thanks to all who attended, particularly NZ Fire Service and St John Ambulance for sharing your wisdom with us!

This event was kindly supported by

Orākei Local Board Neighbourly