Shin­ing the light on fire safety

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

Fire­fight­ers are adding to Christ­mas cheer by string­ing fairy lights out­side the Auck­land city fire sta­tion.

But the fes­tive dis­play aims to high­light a se­ri­ous mes­sage, says se­nior sta­tion of­fi­cer Sulu Devoe.

“You can en­joy Christ­mas, but do it safely,” he says.

“There are a lot of pre­ventable ac­ci­dents and fires that oc­cur dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod.”

Mr Devoe says it’s im­por­tant to check the wiring on Christ­mas lights in case it has be­come frayed, par­tic­u­larly if they’ve been used many times.

“If in doubt, get some­body pro­fes­sional to check it,” he says.

Other dan­gers dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son in­clude bar­be­cue gas cylin­ders, which need to be checked to make sure valves are not leak­ing.

Party-go­ers are also be­ing warned not to start cook­ing af­ter they’ve in­dulged in too much Christ­mas spirit.

“Peo­ple of­ten go to heat up food when in­tox­i­cated and then fall asleep,” Mr Devoe says.

Last year 33 peo­ple died in fires in New Zealand. More than half of all fire deaths oc­cur in homes, mainly while peo­ple are sleep­ing.

Auck­land city is the coun­try’s busiest sta­tion, with more than 3100 call­outs last year.

Mr Devoe says the lights on the Pitt St sta­tion and sur­round­ing trees have had a good re­sponse from the pub­lic.

For in­for­ma­tion and fire safety tips, see www.fire. org.nz.

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