Fire places must be signed off
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.