House Fires

House Fires

House fires are an all too common occurrence which can cost you your possessions and much more. At FMG we support many clients who have suffered losses caused by fire and in almost every case it starts from a small spark that could have been avoided. 

So we partnered up with the New Zealand Fire Service to bring you tips and reminders to help keep you and your family safe.

Smoke alarms and extinguishers

  • In 80% of fatal fires the Fire Service attends, there were no working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are the best early warning device, providing you and your family valuable time to get out.
  • The New Zealand Fire Service recommends long-life photoelectric smoke alarms – they provide a minimum of 10 years’ smoke detection.
  • Make sure you have appropriate fire extinguishers in your property, particularly in higher risk areas such as the kitchen. Make sure you and your family know how to use them.


  • Check electric blankets for wear before fitting them for winter. Ensure the controls are positioned clear of between the mattress and base, and cords are free of twists.
  • Remember the heater metre rule. Keep children and their toys, furniture, curtains and clothing at least 1 metre away from heaters and fireplaces.
  • If the heater doesn’t light straight away, turn it off and try again. Don’t let the gas build up before trying to relight it.
  • Screen open fires with proper fireguards and never leave them unattended. And remember to store all lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

Switchboards and power sources

  • Fit surge protectors to your switchboards. Not only can they save you thousands of dollars in electrical repair, but also help you to avoid serious house fires.
  • One appliance per socket no matter whether it’s a power-point or a multi-board. Don’t overload these with double adapters.


  • Use the correct bulb size and rating (wattage) in light fittings, according to the manufacturer specifications to avoid overheating.
  • Use extreme care when using candles. Never use them in children’s rooms or leave them unattended. And remember to store all lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

House Fires Advice Guide

FMG has produced a House Fires Advice Guide available for download.

The New Zealand Fire Service has more information and advice on home fire safety.