Safety improvements for HNZ properties
Housing NZ says nearly $50,000 has been spent on providing brand new smoke alarms for its Timaru properties in the past year, and secure driveway areas have also been built around more than 100 homes since 2013.
A Housing NZ spokesman said while the number of smoke alarms provided per house varied, on average $140 was spent on each house in the 2016 to 2017 financial year.
With 337 houses now featuring new smoke alarms, that came to $47,180 in total.
Area manager Kate Milton said the photo-electric smoke alarms were recommended by Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and provided up to 10 years’ smoke detection.
‘‘They remove the frustration of fixing the flat battery beep,’’ she said.
‘‘Helping our tenants and their families stay safe is a big part of what we do as the country’s largest landlord. We spent $474 million on maintenance and improvements in our 2016 and 2017 financial year,’’
Timaru senior station officer Martyn Bennett said photo-electric smoke alarms had been around for about 15 years but had recently become far more affordable.
‘‘They are the only sort that we will install,’’ he said.
Cleaning the alarms on a regular basis was very important, however.
Bennett said he believed most Timaru people had fire alarms and were aware of the dangers of fires.
Milton said the Driveway Safety programme, which began in 2013, aimed to reduce the risk of children being run over in the driveways of state homes.
It included installing fencing, self-closing gates with child- resistant latches, speed restriction signs, speed humps and convex mirrors where appropriate.
The programme had seen improvements made to 111 properties in the Timaru area.
It focused on separating play areas from driveways and ensuring play areas were directly visible and accessible from main living areas.
‘‘On average, around five children in New Zealand die from driveway run-overs every year and sadly, it is often a family member who is behind the wheel. Toddlers who are out exploring are particularly at risk.’’
Housing NZ tenant Jo Jackson, who has five children, said Housing NZ put in a fence and gate around her children’s play area about two months ago.
‘‘I was worried my kids would open up that gate [out to the road] it was just a wee latch,’’ she said.
It was ‘‘way safer’’ now, Jackson said.
Four injured in collision
Four people were taken to Timaru Hospital with moderate injuries after a two car collision on the OrariRangitata Highway/State Highway 1, near Orari about 11.30am on Sunday. A police communications spokeswoman said four people were taken to hospital after the crash near the south bridge. One of the vehicles had come to a stop down an embankment, she said. The road was blocked in both directions for a period with diversions on State Highways 72 and 79, she said.
Boil water notice issued
A boil water notice was issued for those using South Canterbury’s Te Moana water supply from Saturday. Timaru District Council communications manager Stephen Doran said due to recent weather conditions, consumers are advised to boil all water for human consumption until further notice. ‘‘It will be active till about mid week once tests come back clear,’’ Doran said.
Astle Holden, 11, and Casey Holden, 3, behind a gate that was installed by Housing New Zealand.