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.


Whānau Centred Fire Education

Ahikura Whānau-Centered Fire Education is here to teach our taiohi and their whānau how to be safe around fire. But we do so much more than that. We build important relationships with taiohi and their whānau to help them towards a more positive future. Through our mahi, we help to change the lives of the taiohi and whānau we work with.

On this page

Our taiohi are the heart of our mahi

Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa

Our free-of-charge programme began in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 1992. In the 30 years since, we have made a significant difference for countless taiohi across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our Ahikura Practitioners work one-on-one with taiohi young people  and their whānau family , usually in their homes. The approach and content we use for each taiohi is adapted depending on their age, cultural background, past behaviour and learning abilities.

We work with taiohi aged five to 17. Some examples of the taiohi we’ve worked with include those who have brought a lighter or matches to school to play with and those who have watched unsafe fire videos on YouTube. We’ve worked with taiohi who were overly curious about fire and taiohi who have undertaken risky fire behaviour.

If you aren’t sure whether a particular taiohi can be accommodated or is the right fit for Ahikura get in touch with us. We’re always happy to kōrero talk  and answer your questions about the programme.

Make a quick referral

Ahikura referral form

How does the programme work?

Once we receive your referral, we aim to respond within 72 hours. That means we’ll be getting in touch with the whānau of the taiohi to introduce ourselves and our programme.

When we first kōrero with whānau, we explain that Ahikura is about teaching their whānau how to be safe around fire. We reassure them that our programme is confidential and will be kept private. We ask if the whānau is happy for us to come to their home to have one-on-one, face-to-face sessions. If the session can’t be held at home for whatever reason, we’ll find another suitable venue where our taiohi will feel comfortable. We let whānau know that it usually takes around two sessions, but it may take longer.

Right from the beginning, we show respect and work to build whanaungatanga relationships  and connection. Whanaungatanga is an important foundation for learning and without it, our programme wouldn’t be as successful.

Once we’ve established whanaungatanga, we get into the mahi work of the programme. We have dedicated resources for different age groups and for different learning abilities. And to ensure our resources have the best chance of resonating with our taiohi, we don’t share them outside of our sessions.

When we can see that we’ve made progress with the taiohi and their whānau, it’s time for us to leave. If we think the whānau could benefit from the services of another agency, we’ll talk to them about who could help them and what the benefits would be. But unless there’s an immediate risk, we leave it up to the whānau to make the call.

Referring a young person to Ahikura

Parents, caregivers, schools, Youth Aid, or anyone who has legal care of someone aged under 17, can refer a child to Ahikura .

You can contact Ahikura by calling 0800 REG COMP (0800 734 2667) or by filling out the referral form below.

Once you've made a referral, you can expect a call from an Ahikura practitioner within three days. The Ahikura session usually takes place within 10 days of referral.

Ahikura referrals are received by our Regional Administrators via:

  • phone calls from the public to a region office
  • emails to Ahikura@fireandemergency.nz which are forwarded to the Regional Co-ordinator
  • phone calls to our national free-phone number 0800 REG COMP (0800 734 2667
  • Firefighters providing information to the Regional Administrator on behalf of, and with the consent of, the parents
  • social agencies, Police and schools
  • the online referral form

Ahikura Values

Kanohi kitea / A face seen

As Fire and Emergency staff and volunteers, we are privileged to have great mana and trust in our communities. We feel privileged to have earned this trust and we work hard to keep it. Right from the very first conversation we have with whānau to the last visit to their home, we’re building and maintaining the trust that’s essential to the success of our programme.

Without the trust of whānau, we can’t do our mahi. It’s not just that we need their consent, but because whānau are an important part of our programme too. Our programme is about teaching taiohi and their whānau how to be safe around fire. By taking this inclusive approach and including whānau, we increase the likelihood of positive and lasting change.

Let us keep close together, not wide apart / Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa

Our mahi is made possible by our referrers. We rely on people like you. We need whānau and community members, schoolteachers and principals, NZ Police and Oranga Tamariki to reach out to us to refer taiohi who could benefit from our programme.

With the support of our referrers and community, we can play a short, but important role in the lives of our taiohi. Through connection, education and support we help taiohi to grow their confidence, their resilience, and their mana. We’re here to teach taiohi and their whānau how to be safe around fire.

Ahikura Whānau-Centred Fire Education: we educate to change lives.