Smoke alarms upgraded
Housing New Zealand is upgrading smoke alarms in its 64,000 properties to photo-electric, long battery life models.
The New Zealand Fire Service attends more than 3500 house fires each year.
In 80 per cent of fatal fires, smoke alarms are either not installed or not working, its website states.
A Housing New Zealand spokesman said following a robust procurement and review process, the FireAngel smoke alarms that are also used by the Fire Service had been chosen.
‘‘The photo-electric alarm provides important benefits, including 10-year smoke detection, not having to replace batteries (which over the long term is more cost effective), and alarms not being removed by tenants ‘annoyed’ by the flat battery beep,’’ the spokesman said.
Housing New Zealand chief operating officer Paul Commons said the alarms selected need less maintenance and were less prone to tampering.
The alarms will still be checked every six months as standard and tenants will also be able to test the units themselves at any time with the push of a button, Commons said.