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.


Did you know that 1 in 4 house fires start in the kitchen?

Making your kitchen fire safe is an important part of having a fire safe home. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce the risk of a fire starting in the kitchen.

On this page

Keep your kitchen clean

  • Clean your stovetop after each use.
    This prevents spilled fats and burnt foods from building up.
  • Clean rangehood filters regularly.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket somewhere in your kitchen.
    Make sure you know how to use them.

When you’re cooking

  • Don't drink and fry.
    Alcohol is involved in half of all fatal fires. Instead, pre-prepare a meal, get takeaways, or use the microwave. Never attempt to drink alcohol or take medication that makes you sleepy when cooking.
  • Don’t leave the room when cooking.
    If you have to, always turn off the stove first. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of house fires in New Zealand.
  • Keep curtains, tea towels, oven mitts and any flammable items well away from the cooking area when you're cooking.

Preventing scalds

Another big danger in the kitchen is scalds — burns caused by boiling water.

  • Keep kids out of the kitchen or cooking areas when you're cooking or preparing meals.
  • Keep kettles, jugs and teapots away from the edge of benches, tables and stove top.
  • Turn saucepan handles so they're not sticking out over the floor. Use the elements or hot plates at the back of the stove if possible.
  • Make sure all upright stoves are securely fastened to the wall and keep oven doors closed, except when grilling as per manufacturers instructions.
  • For advice on treating scalds and burns, visit the St John website(external link)

If a fire starts

  • If your frypan or pot is on fire, place the lid of the frypan or pot or another large flat object (like a chopping board) over the pan to starve the fire of oxygen.
  • If you have a fire in your oven, try to turn off the power or gas, either at the stove or at the mains.
  • Never throw water onto a frypan or pot that's on fire.
  • Never attempt to carry a burning frypan or pot outside.

Smoke alarms or heat alarms?

  • Don't install a smoke alarm in your kitchen. Smoke and heat from cooking (and the toaster) can activate the alarm. Smoke alarms shouldn't be installed in the bathroom or laundry either.

  • You can still protect these areas with a heat alarm. A heat alarm is designed to activate when the room reaches a set temperature. They are useful in places where a smoke alarm would usually give false alarms.

    For more information, take a look at our smoke alarm guide.