A Housing New Zealand initiative to upgrade the smoke alarms in all of its 64,000-plus properties is not only helping save lives, but the planet too.
Housing New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Commons says the project, to take around a year, started in early February and will see around 275,000 existing nine-volt alarms replaced with new, longer-lasting units.
“The new alarms are sealed and have a ten-year, long-life battery which means they need less maintenance and are less prone to tampering,” Mr Commons says.
“The technology in these new alarms also means they’re better able to detect both slow-burning and fast-flaming fires, adding to the level of protection they’ll offer our tenants.”
Mr Commons says 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.
The introduction of the new alarms is a move that’s been praised by the New Zealand Fire Service.
“The new photo-electric alarms are the most reliable available and we commend Housing New Zealand for installing them and committing to checking them every six months,” says Todd O’Donoghue, National Advisor, Fire Risk Management.
“Working smoke alarms are your only voice in a fire so we also encourage tenants to look after them and test them regularly.”
Housing New Zealand has had smoke alarms in all its homes since 1999, with alarms situated in each bedroom, hallway and living area to maximise coverage in each property.