Earthquake-damaged water mains and thousands of abandoned houses have made Christchurch firefighters change the way they battle fires in the city.
Every fire engine in Christchurch was now equipped to use class A foam to help extinguish building fires faster while using less water, Christchurch assistant area manager Dave Berry said.
Canterbury's quakes had changed the fire-risk profile in Christchurch, with damaged water mains and damaged and empty buildings posing a greater risk for firefighters.
Christchurch's fire engines were the first in the country to be fitted with nozzles and branches allowing them to use class A foam for structural fires and grass and scrub fires.
Berry said using foam helped put out fires quicker than using water, meaning firefighters were exposed to vapours and flames for a shorter period.
Foam was also good for "sticking" to other buildings near a fire, helping firefighters to prevent the fire from spreading.