Smoke Alarm PromotionInternal Affairs
Bruce Mills (store owner), Grant Olsen (Dist CFO), Roger Estall ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for the opportunity to launch this promotion aimed at getting smoke alarms in every home.
I must at the outset congratulate Grant and Bruce for mounting this promotion so quickly after the benefits of smoke alarms were highlighted so dramatically by last week's fire at St Andrews. Traumatic as the fire was for Gwen Paul, her son and his playmate, the results would undoubtedly have been much worse had it not been for the smoke alarm.
I need hardly remind you that Christmas is now just four weeks away. It is a time of giving. Now, smoke alarms may not at first appear to be what everyone would want for Christmas but you could in fact be giving a loved one their means of survival, their life.
Fire prevention is everyone's responsibility and that is why we are all working to upskill the community.Smoke alarms must become an essential item in all homes.
The message is getting through, I am pleased to say. That is why I am pleased to welcome and commend Ngaruawahia publican Jack Robson for the support he's given the local fire service and his donation of smoke alarms to every house in his town. This is true community service.
I commend too Housing New Zealand for the 3500 smoke alarms it's fitted to their rental accommodation in the Waikato/Coromandel region. The experience with Gwen Paul's home is a gratifying payback.
We've just experienced two of our worst years ever in terms of fire deaths. Most of them have occurred in ordinary domestic dwellings. A common denominator in many of the fires was rapid and silent fire development as a result of the combustibility of furnishings.
Children playing with lighters is another danger and I'm pleased that Parliament is now working through legislation which will ban the import of lighters that aren't child resistant. But it will be some months before a new product safety standard takes effect and existing lighters in circulation are exhausted. So parents and caregivers must be ever vigilant and ensure that lighters are stored beyond the reach of curious small hands.
Finally may I once again congratulate Bruce Mills of Mitre 10 for his initiative in mounting this promotion. I understand that apart from his two stores Mitre 10 branches in Te Awamutu and Cambridge will also be joining in the promotion. Hopefully Mitre 10 nationwide will become a partner in the Fire Service's Home Safe Home Campaign.