Winter is coming to New Zealand, and with it comes the increased risk of fires. As the weather becomes cooler, people are more likely to keep their heaters running, including other heating appliances like electrical blankets and hot water systems.
Due to the increased use of heating appliances, the chances of electrical failure also increases. In response to recent fires that affected Otara, Auckland, and Pukekohe, the New Zealand Fire Service released an official public reminder highlighting the importance of electrical safety. You also have companies like Adam Tulloch, who would like to remind citizens to have professional safety checks done by a licensed electrician, every few months or so.Simple Safety Checks
All of the recent fires in New Zealand were related to some sort of electrical problem. The Fire Service stresses the importance of simple safety checks, imploring citizens to monitor their appliances and electrical equipment at all times.
They ask citizens to check for leaks, loose connections and overheating. If the appliance is old, it is best to have it checked professionally or to replace it entirely with an updated model. Old, ill-maintained appliances are more likely to short-circuit and catch fire, which may have catastrophic results.
They also ask people to test their smoke alarms, ensuring that they are fully functional. Having working smoke alarms serves as an early warning sign that fire has broken out.Constant Vigilance
The NZ Fire Service states that about 25% of all fires start in the kitchen. Along with the dangers of leaving a stove on, electrical appliances in the kitchen may be splashed with water or otherwise short-circuit. They ask New Zealanders to practice proper fire safety at all times, especially within high-risk areas like the kitchen.
Another cause for concern is electric blankets. Electric blankets are very popular in New Zealand, allowing people to sleep comfortably in their homes. The Fire Department recognizes the dangers of electric blankets and asks people to have them checked by a qualified electrician as soon as they show signs of wear.
Winter may increase the risk of fire but if people are vigilant and perform regular safety checks, tragedy can be avoided.