The Fire Service has received almost 350 111 calls this Guy Fawkes night.

At peak, it was answering a 111 call every 19 seconds on average. Firecomm tweeted the information just after 10pm. An hour earlier, the Fire Service was averaging a call every 50 seconds.

Fire Service northern shift manager Jaron Phillips said between 6pm and 12.15am it had received 348 calls nationwide.

Fifty six of the calls were directly related to fireworks. Many were for vegetation fires and bonfires.

One callout was for a house in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, which was damaged by fireworks. Two occupants suffered smoke inhalation.

There were two tree fires in Auckland and fireworks were lit inside a NZ Post post box in Rotorua.

Last year, the Fire Service received 325 callouts.

National adviser of fire risk management Todd O’Donoghue said most calls were for nuisance fires, such as bushes, trees and bins being set alight.

“These occupy our resources a lot.

“We recommend people attend public displays, which are safer and far better value for money.”

The SPCA renewed its call for a ban on the public sale of fireworks this week.

The animal welfare organisation launched a survey on Wednesday, in conjunction with the Companion Animal Council, asking the public to share their animals’ experiences with fireworks.

SPCA chief scientific officer Dr Arnja Dale said the survey had already received 1500 responses, and almost 90 per cent opposed the sale of fireworks to the public.

“We will publish the results and present them to Government to discuss feasible and realistic options.”

Dale said the SPCA supports public displays but “we are way behind other countries” on the sale of fireworks for private use.

In Australia, the public can only legally buy fireworks in the Northern Territory.

 

-Source