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NZ Fire Service adopts a neighbourly approach
Mon, 6th Oct 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The New Zealand Fire Service has completed a three month trial using New Zealand’s first neighbourhood website, Neighbourly.co.nz, and is reporting a significant increase in overall awareness of key fire safety messages.

Eleven Auckland fire stations have been trialling Neighbourly to communicate their fire safety messages including smoke alarm installation material, fire prevention campaign information and details of faulty product recalls, as well as updating neighbours on local events involving the New Zealand Fire Service.

The results have been so encouraging that the Fire Service is now exploring how the site can be implemented across all of its fire stations nationwide and used strategically on a national level. Assistant Area Manager from Auckland City Fire Area, Mike Shaw, says Neighbourly has enabled each Station to connect effectively and directly with their local communities.

“Our stations are part of their neighbourhoods, and using Neighbourly allows us to interact and communicate directly with them on a daily basis,” says Mr Shaw.

“It's a brilliant concept and the three month trial results have been outstanding. The number of requests for smoke alarm installations and opportunities to provide specific fire safety advice has increased markedly. Having seen what we’re able to achieve after such a short time here in Auckland, we recognise the huge potential in Neighbourly and consequently we are looking at implementing it into our fire stations across the county as part of a national partnership.”

Neighbourly Co-founder Casey Eden says the New Zealand Fire Service is a great example of an organisation using Neighbourly to keep potentially life-saving messages front of mind. “The New Zealand Fire Service is an exceptionally respected organisation, and we all know who to call when there is actual emergency,” he says.

“The challenge is staying top of mind about the things we can all do to prevent fire and cope if we do get caught in an emergency. It’s inspiring to see how the Auckland Fire Stations are using Neighbourly to connect with those living in their vicinity - and how well Neighbourly members are responding to them already.”

This month the New Zealand Fire Service will be launching a series of Guy Fawkes safety-focused messages and will also be featuring on the Neighbourly blog as a guest blogger sharing further fireworks tips.

Going into summer, Mr Shaw says Neighbourly will be a key platform for NZ Fire Service to communicate important seasonal messages. “Every summer we contend with open fires, faulty Christmas lights, BBQ mishaps and more,” he adds.

“If Neighbourly helps us reduce even a handful of these incidents over the holiday season and beyond then it’s worth its weight in gold.”

Neighbourly.co.nz was launched in May 2014 as an easy way for neighbours to talk and share online through free and private websites for their suburbs. As well as fostering interaction between neighbours, Neighbourly creates an easy way for organisations to reach local residents and their wider community.

NZ Fire Service is one of over 600 organisations using Neighbourly around New Zealand.