What to do in a fire
- Crawl low and fast to escape smoke. 'Get Down, Get Low, Get out.'
- Shut doors behind you to slow the spread of fire
- Meet at the planned meeting place.
- Once out, stay out - never go back inside.
- Phone the Fire Service from a safe phone.
Tell the Fire Service
- house number
- nearest intersection
- suburb and city
- rural ID number if you have one
What to do after a fire
Nothing can really prepare you for the impact of a fire or other emergency on your family and property. Even a small fire or flood can make you feel helpless and unsure of what to do next. This is entirely understandable. The New Zealand Fire Service regularly sees home owners faced with the same distressing situation. Here's some guidance on the important things you need to do now that the unimaginable has happened.
Do not enter your damaged house unless you have to and have been advised it is safe to do so. The Fire Service will check the water, electricity and gas supplies and either arrange to have them disconnected or advise you what action to take.
If you can't enter your home, you'll need to arrange accommodation. You may need to stay with family, friends or in a motel for at least one night, and longer if the house has been seriously damaged.
When your house is safe and you are allowed back:
- Try to find your identification, insurance information, medication information, eye glasses, hearing aid, wallet and valuables
- If the house is too badly damaged to live in, board up openings to discourage trespassers
- You may need to arrange security patrols to protect it from burglary
- Keep receipts for expenses resulting from the fire, such as accommodation or clothes
- Get supplies of medicine or eye glasses.
It is normal to feel unsettled and disrupted for a while. You may well be able to overcome any problems yourself but don't be afraid to ask for help. After a crisis, it is often easier to talk to someone who is not involved and is trained to listen and help you find the services you need. Victim Support provides a free, flexible and confidential service. Free phone 0800 842 846.
The devastation after a fire