Firefighters have deliberately set fire to a home in Palmerston North to highlight how quickly flames can destroy a house.
Within five minutes the building filled with smoke and within 20 it was fully ablaze, reinforcing the message to homeowners to install smoke alarms.
"Buy photoelectric fire alarms," says Todd O'Donoghue, Fire Service risk management national advisor. "We recommend they're installed in every bedroom, lounge and hallway in your house.
"Plan and practise an escape plan. We hope this doesn't happen to people, but just be prepared in case it does."
The Fire Service says most victims of fires are killed by smoke and most deaths can be prevented if there are working smoke alarms.