As it still is now, fire was a concern in 1974. A subcommittee took on the topic. On Saturday 30 November 1974 the Fire Department and the WBRA did a trial run and drill of sending a tender and pumps out to Waikawa Beach. The day was deemed a success, especially as it highlighted some problems.
Note the part of the text that says:
… whilst the balance of the Fire Crew rushed a portable pump unit through the lane between Mr. Branigan and Mr. Mackie’s property to the river, hoses were run out with the intention of pumping water to the empty section adjacent to Mr. McCulloch’s section. Unfortunately there was a strong tide coming up the river and before the Fire Crew knew what had happened, the portable pump was partly submerged in the rising tide. The portable pump was therefore inoperable and that part of the drill was then cancelled.
There were several suggestions for improved fire safety, including folks with phones having the emergency number to hand, signs and notices, another request for a public phone, two-storied houses having ladders, fire water tanks and a survey of households.