Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Public urged to use fireworks safely this Guy Fawkes

Public urged to use fireworks safely this Guy Fawkes

National Adviser, Fire Risk Management, Peter Gallagher said crews responded to more than 56 fireworks-related fire incidents nationwide from Friday to Sunday.

"Unfortunately we’ve already seen a number of incidents where fireworks have been misused and caused large fires," Mr Gallagher said.

"Fireworks can be fun, but they can also be dangerous and pose a high fire risk, so we need the public to use them responsibly."

Fire investigators deemed fireworks to be the cause of a suspicious scrub fire that resulted in the evacuation of six homes at Lake Hawea, near Wanaka, on Friday. Five helicopters carrying monsoon buckets and 10 fire appliances were quickly deployed to control the fire which was spread across 10 hectares of hillside forest. This incident has now been referred to Police.

"Used unsafely, fireworks can quickly cause devastating vegetation fires, particularly when conditions are dry and windy.

"Our crews are highly trained and ready to respond, but we need the public to help us keep communities safe by using fireworks safely, and calling us straight away if they see fire."

Safety tips:

  • Don’t light fireworks in windy or dry conditions.
  • Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using any fireworks.
  • Light your fireworks in a wide-open area, away from anything that could catch fire, like dry grass, leaves or crops, or flammable gases or liquids.
  • Keep a bucket of water, hose or fire extinguisher handy.
  • Point fireworks at the sky, not your mates.
  • Refer to your local bylaws for the rules around using fireworks in your area. In many places, you're only allowed to light fireworks on private property.