Putting a price on protection

Homeowners are being advised to give serious thought to installing sprinkler systems in their properties, to prevent damage and loss in the case of fire.

A senior officer from Wanganui fire station recently commented on a rural property that burned to the ground last week near Lismore Forest, saying the tragedy could have been avoided had a sprinkler system been installed.

Firefighters arrived at the scene within 20 minutes, which unfortunately wasn’t soon enough to salvage the home and contents.

Senior Station Officer Craig Gardiner said that a good rainwater tank and a sprinkler system is practically a must for rural properties.

“A sprinkler system costs around $2000 to install but it was worth every cent”, Mr Gardiner said.

Mr Gardiner suggests it could be sensible to have a smoke alarm hooked up to a burglar alarm and wired through to a mobile phone, so that if you’re out of the house, you get the warning and can get back as soon as possible.

Another fire prevention measure is for owners to keep their driveways cleared.

“Some driveways are so overgrown we can’t get the trucks up close enough, which is very frustrating and very tough getting the hoses up and close”, he said.

Then there are basic fire prevention methods that everyone should remember.

“Keep doors closed in the house if you’re going out, so if a fire erupts in a room it can be contained for longer – about 20 minutes longer in some cases.

“Even though installing a sprinkler system is going to cost initially, it’s a worthwhile investment”, he said. After all, what price do you put on your home and possessions?

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