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25.10.2019

Getting out in the CBD after the Sky City Convention Centre fire

There will still be some smoke in the CBD as fire hot spots are extinguished, so please avoid going near the smoke.

If you are exposed to smoke and you experience shortness of breath, wheezing, triggering of asthma symptoms or chest pain please see your doctor immediately or go to an Emergency Department.

In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends and cause no long term health problems.

For people away from the smoke, you can now plan to clean surfaces and ventilate buildings.

Cleaning up after the fire

Smoke from the Sky City Convention Centre fire has got into many nearby apartments, offices, shops and other buildings. Smoke particles and smell can persist inside buildings and some people’s health may be affected by eye and nose irritation or worsening asthma, breathing or heart conditions.

Babies and young children may be most exposed to pollutants on surfaces. This is because they spend most time in contact with floors and put their hands in their mouth frequently.

When there is no further smoke, people should plan to improve air quality inside their building as follows: 

  • Open windows and doors to bring in fresh air.
  • Clean air conditioning unit filters. 
  • Building managers should clean air filters and ventilation systems.
  • Wash down railings, balconies and decks, and wipe down any outside furniture and objects with a damp cloth.
  • Clean filters and covers of outdoor pools.

If your house smells of smoke

  • Ventilate your house by opening windows and doors to let in fresh air.
  • Vacuum clean (including upholstery), preferably using a cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Wash hard surfaces, food preparation areas and any cooking utensils left out with detergent and hot water.

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23rd October 2019

FAQs - Sky City Convention Centre fire

I live or work in the city, is there anything I can do?

If you work in the city and can stay away, please do so. If you have children attending early learning services in the city, please keep them at home.

If you live or work in the area of the smoke plume, you could consider leaving while the fire is burning or if you are experiencing discomfort from the smoke.

If you live in the city and do not wish to leave your home, please keep out of the smoke as much as possible. Please stay inside with windows closed and air-conditioning off. Talk to your building owner or business owner if you don’t control your air-conditioning.

If you are living in the area and you need to go outside, try to keep away from the smoke. This means staying well out of the plume and avoiding the smoke, if possible.

Should I be wearing a mask or a scarf?

Covering your mouth and nose will stop the larger particles, but won’t keep out the fine particles of air pollution. Keep out of the smoke if you can.

I need to go outside – is there anything I can do?

Please stay out of areas where there is smoke.

What's in the smoke that I should worry about? 

Our advice is that people should avoid breathing this if possible. We know that smoke contains fine particulate matter and other pollutants that can have harmful health effects. You can read more from Auckland Council's air quality specialist here

How dangerous is the smoke to my health?

Air pollution caused by smoke can be dangerous to health over time, depending on your length and level of exposure. Low dose, short term exposures, however, are unlikely to be harmful.

If exposure to the smoke causes shortness of breath, wheezing, triggering of asthma symptoms or chest pain please see your doctor immediately or go to an Emergency Department.

In healthy people, most symptoms disappear soon after exposure to smoke ends and cause no long term health problems.

Will breathing in this smoke have a long term impact on my health?

Short term exposures are unlikely to have harmful long term effects.

Who is most at risk of ill health from the smoke?

Babies and younger children, older people, those with respiratory or heart conditions, pregnant women and those who smoke are most at risk from smoke inhalation, and should avoid exposure.

My children are at an early childhood education centre in the city, is this dangerous?

The advice from the emergency management authorities is to stay out of the city centre, if at all possible.

I run an early learning service, what should I do?

If your service is in the smoke plume, you should not be operating. Early learning services outside the plume, but in the city centre, should also consider closing. If not, they should keep their children inside. They should wipe down play equipment exposed to smoke.


WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?

FENZ has a page on restoring your property after a fire: https://fireandemergency.nz/in-the-event-of-fire/restoring-your-property/

Employers should visit the WorkSafe NZ website

For information on air quality in Auckland see Auckland Council

For health advice please phone Healthline 0800 611 116

FOR NOTIFICATIONS OR QUERIES, CALL US ON 09 623 4600
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