Dis­play high­lights fire safety

Franklin County News - - OUT & ABOUT - JOHN BOYN­TON

A new dis­play at Franklin Fam­ily Ser­vices is spread­ing the mes­sage on fire safety aware­ness.

Pukekohe Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade fire­fighter, Dar­ryn Pritchard helped to set up a fire safety dis­play at the en­try of Franklin Fam­ily Sup­port Ser­vices in Roul­ston St, Pukekohe.

The dis­play in­cludes man­gled and charred irons, heaters and power-boxes that have ig­nited real-life house fires.

Franklin Fam­ily Sup­port Ser­vices ac­count ad­min­is­tra­tor Bon­nie Reid said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was more than happy to help ed­u­cate peo­ple.

’’It’s such a great op­por­tu­nity to bring the com­mu­nity aware­ness of some kind and ob­vi­ously fire is right up there be­cause it’s the lit­tle things you do that can make a big dif­fer­ence.’’

Pritchard said many homes still did not have ad­e­quate or work­ing smoke alarms.

‘‘With new laws re­gard­ing smoke alarms, ten­ants need to hit up their land­lords and make sure they’ve got the re­quired smoke alarms.’’

High elec­tric­ity prices, Pritchard said, had led to an in­crease in the use of can­dles.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately peo­ple put them near cur­tains and they catch on fire, so it’s new things like that we’re re­ally talk­ing to peo­ple about.’’

Alu­minium pots, over­loaded power boxes and heaters are also a ma­jor cause of house fires and Pritchard said all items must be kept at least a me­tre away from heaters.

The New Zealand Fire Ser­vice can also pro­vide homes with a fire safety check and help to cre­ate a fire es­cape route for fam­i­lies.

‘‘Try and do what you can to pro­tect your­self with fire blan­kets, smoke alarms and fire ex­tin­guish­ers,’’ he said.

Since July 1 2016, it is law for all res­i­den­tial ren­tal prop­er­ties to be in­stalled with smoke alarms.

Land­lords who fail to com­ply with their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties re­gard­ing smoke alarm re­quire­ments face a max­i­mum penalty of $4,000. A max­i­mum fine of $3000 can also be dealt to any ten­ants who cause or per­mit any in­ter­fer­ence with, or ren­der in­op­er­a­tive any means of es­cape from fire – in­clud­ing smoke alarms.

Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion can be found in the Franklin Fam­ily Ser­vices re­cep­tion area or con­tact the Pukekohe Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade on 09 238 7669.

Dar­ryn Pritchard and Bon­nie Reid want to keep the com­mu­nity aware of risk of fire their homes.

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