Two small Bay of Plenty communities and their marae have received help from Fire and Emergency New Zealand to ensure they are well prepared in the event of a fire.
More than 110 households around Minginui and Te Whaiti have been given tips about fire safety, help to make escape plans and checked to ensure every home has a working smoke alarm. Each whare was also given a bag of fire safety resources.
Local Tane Cook of Tūhoe, Ngāti Whare warns that his community needs to be vigilant and very careful and embrace fire safety measures before it’s too late.
Mr. Cook says there have been houses burnt down in the community and tragedies also that have lead to deaths.
"We’re supporting these communities by talking them through the steps they can take to prevent fires and keep themselves and their whānau safe," says Kereama Katu, Fire and Emergency Pou Takawaenga Māori.
"Early detection from smoke alarms gives vital minutes to prevent a potential loss of life or property.”
Interconnected smoke alarms were also installed at their two marae to ensure whānau are alerted to a fire when they are using the marae.
“Good to have those fire alarms in everyone’s house especially for our tamariki,they are the main ones,” says local Hewa MacFarlane Tūhoe, Ngāti Whare.
“Some of them use to take them out cause they are hoha when you have a smoke or a cigarette, well they go beep, beep, beeping and all that,” says Mr MacFarlane.
“If a fire occurred on the marae then every one of those alarms would sound, alerting people to a fire no matter which building they’re in,” says Katu.
For more information on how you can keep your home safe from fire visit www.fireandemergency.nz/at-home