Categories: Breaking News, Safety

Live house burn broadcast demonstrates fire’s rapid escalation

Share this content


House burn broadcasted live on TV reaches 700,000, emphasising the rapidity and peril of fire

In a recent collaboration, Fire and Emergency joined forces with TVNZ’s Seven Sharp to visually underscore the alarming pace at which a fire can devastate a home.

The broadcast, aired on Tuesday 15 August, took place in a derelict house situated in Levin.

This unique event, which can be watched here, was witnessed by approximately 700,000 viewers.

The main objective: to illustrate how quickly a house fire can escalate to a fatal degree.

Highlighting house burn dangers and preventive measures

The live demonstration was not only to raise awareness but to accentuate the necessity of equipping homes with functioning smoke alarms and the formulation of a coherent 3-Step Escape Plan.

Peter Gallagher, the National Risk Reduction and Investigations Manager, shed light on the evening’s proceedings.

He emphasised key takeaways, including:

  • Lithium-ion batteries as potential fire-starters: Ensuring safe usage involves choosing the correct charger for the designated device and avoiding charging on or under fabrics such as blankets.
  • The vital role of smoke alarms: Placement in every bedroom, hallway, and main living areas is essential. Interlinked alarms provide the earliest possible warning.
  • The imperative of a 3-Step Escape Plan: Everyone should be well-versed in first and second exits, along with a predetermined safe assembly point.
  • A stark reality: House fires can become fatal in under three minutes. Given the improbability of fire service intervention within that timeframe, preparation via alarms and an escape strategy is paramount.

House burn event an educational tool for community engagement

Beyond the television audience, Fire and Emergency’s Community Readiness and Recovery team worked closely with local educational institutions.

School students were invited to view the fire, integrating it into their “Get Firewise” curriculum, fostering an understanding of smoke alarms’ significance and the urgency to evacuate during fire or smoke detection.

This televised initiative is the third of its kind, with previous broadcasts proving instrumental in amplifying Fire and Emergency’s pivotal fire safety guidelines.

Notably, these broadcasts have spurred viewers into action, ensuring they’re better equipped for potential house fires.

It’s worth noting that the property chosen for this demonstration was already designated for demolition and generously contributed to Fire and Emergency for the purpose of this live demonstration.

For a deeper dive into home fire safety and guidance on creating a 3-Step Escape Plan, interested readers can explore

IFSJ Comment

By vividly portraying fire’s rapid and destructive nature, this live event underscores our mission of fire safety education.

It serves as a powerful reminder for everyone to stay prepared and informed.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox