As the days get longer and hotter it's time to start thinking about what you would do if there was an out-of-control fire near your property.
We have paid almost $6 million in claims for rural fires over the past five years, a quarter of these being in February. We have had claims where controlled fires have reignited six weeks later, so to help you and your business remain fire safe this summer, we've provided a few insights.
You'll need a permit
Burn-offs are a legitimate land management tool but it’s important to plan them in advance. Take into account upcoming weather conditions, fuel conditions and any regulatory requirements you need to meet ahead of time.
Head to checkitsalright.nz to request a fire permit. It’s also good to let your neighbours know so they can move livestock away from smoke drift and be aware of any risks to their property.
Work smart on high-risk days
An extra level of care needs to be taken when using machinery like welders or chainsaws in hot, dry conditions, particularly over the summer period.
Where possible, avoid placing equipment or parking vehicles on dry grass and install fire extinguishers on all machinery.
You should also make sure machinery is serviced annually.
Create a fire escape plan
Even if you are cautious, it doesn’t completely remove the risk of fire. We recommend having an escape plan and practising it regularly with your family and staff.
Make sure your RAPID number is displayed at the end of your drive and is easy to see from the road. You should also make sure you have enough water supplies available with clear signage. Rural homeowners are at a greater risk of wildfires than residential homeowners, and emergency services will take longer to reach you if a fire starts near or at your property. Extra safety measures should be taken to safeguard what is important to you, remembering the most important assets are yourself and your loved ones.