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New Zealand Fire Service create virtual 360 degree house fire in online first

The New Zealand Fire Service in partnership with FCB New Zealand has created a virtual reality home fire escape experience.

The 360 technology allows participants to try and escape a house fire, which uses footage from an actual fire filmed at a derelict house (the team used cameras that could withstand serious heat obviously). Users come up against a series of obstacles, such as a locked door and a jammed window, and have to navigate a route to safety as the blaze gets worse.

The experience aims to highlight how serious house fires are and how important having an escape plan is. I think both objectives are executed perfectly – since launching on the 22nd March 2017 the online tool has been used by 120,000 people, been viewed more than 10 million times and shared on Facebook by more than 86,000 people.

At the end of the experience, users are invited to use the Escape Planner Tool, which is also mobile friendly, so they can create their own escape plan using the layout of their own home.

NZ Fire Service Acting External Communications Manager, Mel Weddell said, “It’s tough tackling the long-held, ‘It won’t happen to me’ attitude of so many New Zealanders. Most worryingly, as a result, very few of us have an escape plan and safe meeting place. That’s why we’re excited by FCB’s creative approach of showing rather than telling, and believe it will have a positive and lasting impact on attitudes to fire preparedness and, ultimately, save lives.”

Experience it for yourself here.

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Lydia Bryant works as a Junior Account Manager at Rich Leigh and Co and is a marketing graduate.