Rural residents face a higher risk of losing more property from fire
than their urban counterparts because fires are not noticed as quickly
in sparsely populated areas.
Response in rural areas can often take a longer time. Most rural
areas in New Zealand are serviced by volunteer brigades. Although this
is an excellent service, the time taken to respond to a fire emergency
can be longer. Large areas served, imperfect road conditions especially
during winter months, and lack of adequate water supply can delay quick
intervention. Many rural dwellers' livelihoods, eg farming, would be
seriously at threat if key buildings such as the milking shed, shearing
shed or the family home were destroyed by fire.
There are special things rural dwellers need to remember in order to make their properties safer.
- Signposting your property. Rural property numbers are invaluable for a quick response by emergency vehicles
- Do emergency vehicles have easy access?
- Is there an adequate water supply for use by emergency services?
- Can portable pumps be positioned within 7 metres of open water supplies?
- Is your firewood stacked away from the house?