Fire places must be signed off

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Two of the three prop­er­ties dam­aged by fire caused by non­com­pli­ant fires were is­sued codes of com­pli­ance by the Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil.

Fire In­ves­ti­ga­tor Stu Ide has warned home­own­ers who have multi-fuel fire­places with en­clo­sures to check they are com­pli­ant, fol­low­ing a spate of house fires in Queen­stown.

Ide blamed ‘‘in­stal­la­tion de­fi­cien­cies’’ for the fires, which all broke out in the en­closed chim­ney cav­i­ties and failed to com­ply with New Zealand safety stan­dards.

Coun­cil build­ing ser­vices man­ager Chris English said the coun­cil took the mat­ter of home safety very se­ri­ously. ‘‘In order to gain code of com­pli­ance, wood burn­ers must be in­spected, ap­proved and signed off by a coun­cil build­ing in­spec­tor.’’

One of the prop­er­ties, on Stow­more Lane, was given a code of com­pli­ance in 2014, Jacks Point Golf Club had also been is­sued one but the Pere­grine Lane prop­erty had ap­plied for a con­sent for a new fire but it had not been is­sued, nor had code of com­pli­ance been given.

‘‘It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of prop­erty own­ers to en­sure their wood burner meets all rel­e­vant safety stan­dards and has been signed off as com­pli­ant. An un­con­sented fire can pose a risk to the safety of any oc­cu­pants and may mean the prop­erty is in­el­i­gi­ble for in­sur­ance if there is fire dam­age.’’

Even if a burner had been is­sued code of com­pli­ance, there were a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing age and main­te­nance, that could still cause a fire.

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