Our 3-Step Escape Plan

  • First Escape Route
  • Second Escape Route
  • Meeting Place

Use this space to note any additional information about your escape plan, i.e. who will assist

Your checklist
  • Get low

    Smoke is poisonous and more deadly than flames.

    If you breathe smoke for more than a few breaths it can kill you.

  • Be fast

    A house fire can kill you in less than three minutes.

    Don't spend time trying to save possessions.

  • Close doors

    A closed door buys you time.

    It slows down the spread of fire, giving you more time to get to safety.

  • Get out - stay out!

    People have died by going back into a fire.

    Don't leave the meeting place to go back inside for any reason.

Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Arson in commercial, retail and manufacturing

Every year we attend hundreds of deliberately lit skip and bin fires that have spread to properties and businesses, causing significant loss and putting people’s lives at risk. 

You can help reduce the risk of rubbish fires damaging your property or business by following these guidelines: 

Storing rubbish and flammables

These simple steps can help reduce the likelihood of your property or business being affected by arson or accidental rubbish fires: 

  • Locate bins away from your building
  • Lock bin lids when you’re not using them 
  • Arrange to have waste collected weekly to reduce rubbish on site at weekends and during holiday periods 
  • Keep rubbish bins and skips well away from outside walls  
  • Remove any flammable materials located outside to safe storage where opportunists cant access them 
  • Store flammable waste in metal rubbish containers with self-closing lids 
  • Keep flammable or dead vegetation away from buildings  
  • Some flammable/hazardous products and materials need to be stored outside. Limit the pile size and keep them well away from buildings both inside and outside any boundary fences. 
  • Don’t put lithium-ion batteries in the rubbish or leave discarded batteries in piles around your premises. Lithium-ion batteries should be disposed of properly and recycled where possible, so check with your local council. More information on lithium-ion batteries.
  • Allocate safe designated smoking areas for staff or tenants.

Download Reducing rubbish fires for businesses flyer.

Security and public access

    • Install and maintain security lighting and surveillance equipment 
    • Install and maintain adequate perimeter fencing so you can lock and secure the property at night 
    • Limit public access to your building and yards 
    • Involve the community: ask neighbours to keep an eye on your property and alert the Police if they see any suspicious behaviour 
    • Be particularly alert during November and December. Fireworks, combined with the dry summer season, can often contribute to arson incidents. 

Arson in schools 

Deliberately lit fires are particularly common in schools, where children and young people might light fires without understanding the potential consequences. 

Fire and Emergency has developed a programme to support children and young people who are overly curious about fire or display fire lighting behaviours. Ahikura Whānau-Centred Fire Education is here to teach our taiohi and their whānau how to be safe around fire.  

For more information, visit our Ahikuraprogramme page.