Tag Archives: Rental properties

Carroll St house fire #historicheritage

Tyler Christmas Published on Oct 22, 2016
Dunedin Carroll St fire 2016 [full footage]

my heart gose out to them all
out safe and fire is under control
–Tyler

Firefighters could not tell whether the smoke alarms in the flat were working because it was so badly damaged, but the neighbouring flat did have working alarms.

### ODT Online Sun, 23 Oct 2016
Woman jumps from burning flat
By Vaughan Elder
A woman had to jump for her life from the second storey of a Dunedin flat as it became engulfed with flames. Five fire appliances were called to the blaze, which started just before noon on Sunday, and “totally destroyed” the Carroll St flat as about 100 onlookers gathered on the street. Senior Station Officer Justin Wafer, of Dunedin Central, said a woman, had to jump from the second storey as flames engulfed the flat in what he called a “significant structure fire”. A man, believed to be the woman’s partner, was on the ground floor when the blaze started and was among three people who caught her after she jumped. […] Mr Wafer praised the actions of those who caught her as “very brave”.
Read more

Smoke-Alarms-Banner [fire.org.nz]

NEW ZEALAND FIRE SERVICE
We recommend you install long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms in your home. They may cost a little more but the benefits are significant.
• They provide a about 10 years smoke detection.
• They remove the frustration of fixing the ‘flat battery beep’ at inconvenient times such as at 3 in the morning.
• The cost of replacement batteries for standard alarms means the long-life one effectively pays for itself over its lifetime.
• You don’t have to climb ladders every year to replace batteries.

Your best protection is to have photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, living area and hallway in your home. Install them in the middle of the ceiling of each room.

But, at a minimum, you should install one standard long-life photoelectric type alarm in the hallway closest to the bedrooms.

NZFS : Make Your Home and Family Fire Safe Brochure

NZFS : More on smoke alarm installation

Related Post and Comments:
15.5.16 Fire Safety at Home : Install long-life photoelectric alarms #bestprotection

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

3 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Design, Dunedin, Education, Events, Fire and Emergency NZ, Heritage, Housing, Media, New Zealand, People, Property, Public interest, Site

Fire Safety at Home : Install long-life photoelectric alarms #bestprotection

Smoke-Alarms-Banner [fire.org.nz]

NEW ZEALAND FIRE SERVICE
We recommend you install long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms in your home. They may cost a little more but the benefits are significant.
• They provide a about 10 years smoke detection.
• They remove the frustration of fixing the ‘flat battery beep’ at inconvenient times such as at 3 in the morning.
• The cost of replacement batteries for standard alarms means the long-life one effectively pays for itself over its lifetime.
• You don’t have to climb ladders every year to replace batteries.

Your best protection is to have photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, living area and hallway in your home. Install them in the middle of the ceiling of each room.

But, at a minimum, you should install one standard long-life photoelectric type alarm in the hallway closest to the bedrooms.

NZFS : Make Your Home and Family Fire Safe Brochure

NZFS : More on smoke alarm installation

Explanation

SMOKE ALARMS : TYPES
There are 2 main types of smoke alarm available – ionisation and photoelectric:

Ionisation alarms
Ionisation alarms monitor ions or electrically charged particles in the air. Smoke particles enter the sensing chamber changing the electrical balance of the air. The alarm will sound when the change in the electrical balance reaches a certain level.

Photoelectric alarms (recommended)
Photoelectric alarms have a sensing chamber which uses a beam of light and a light sensor. Smoke particles entering the chamber change the amount of light that reaches the sensor. The alarm sounds when the smoke density reaches a preset level.

Our recommendation for your home
We recommend that you install photoelectric smoke alarms as they provide more effective all-round detection and alarm in all types of fire scenarios and are more likely to alert occupants in time to escape safely.

█ If your home currently only has ionisation alarms installed we recommend that you also install some photoelectric alarms.

Smoke alarms for hearing-impaired
Smoke alarms are available for people with hearing loss. These alarms have extra features such as extra loud and/or lower pitch alarm sounds, flashing strobe lights, or vibrating devices.
Find out more about these alarms and where you can buy them

Australasian standards for smoke alarms
The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) is the representative body in the Australasian region for fire, emergency services, and land management agencies.
Read the AFAC position on smoke alarms for residential accommodation

WHERE TO BUY : Consumer Test (PDF)
Silent Death : Smoke is toxic – and breathing it can kill. So you need an alarm that gives you early warning and more time to escape.

Fire damaged property - window escape route [stuff.co.nz]Fire damage: 660 Castle St, Dunedin – window escape route [stuff.co.nz]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: fire.org.nz – smoke alarms banner

16 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Fire and Emergency NZ, Heritage, Housing, Media, New Zealand, People, Police, Property, Public interest, Site, University of Otago

Dunedin housing

Leith Street houses IMG_8995 (1a)Leith Street student villas to Water of Leith

“Dunedin’s housing stock is older and colder than elsewhere in the country and being part of this trial ensures these issues are considered in a housing warrant of fitness.” –Rebecca Williams, DCC Events and Community Development

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Housing WOF Trial Results Announced

This item was published on 15 May 2014

The results of a nationwide rental housing ‘warrant of fitness’ field trial have been released. More than 140 rental properties were given the once-over by home assessment experts in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin earlier this year. The pilot aimed to test whether draft WOF checklists and methods were practical for landlords, assessors and tenants. This is the first step in a collaborative project aimed at making rental housing safer, healthier and more energy efficient. The field trial has not resulted in the immediate issue of a WOF for each home, but it is an important step towards standardising the approach to ensure the credibility of any national WOF scheme.

“This collaborative programme has given us a lot of useful information about the assessment tool and what to do next. The trial has made it clear that a rental housing WOF system would be very useful, helping prospective tenants to make a call on whether a house is safe, healthy and energy efficient, making it warmer and more comfortable to live in. Hopefully, this would mean tenants would stay in their rental home for longer, which is good for both landlords and tenants. We are also grateful for the co-operation of the landlords and tenants who took part in this worthwhile project.” –Dave Cull, Mayor

The rental housing WOF field trial involved the Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin councils, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago (Wellington). The trial tested a range of criteria that could potentially be included in a housing WOF. It aimed to identify aspects such as average assessment times and how to best communicate results to landlords and tenants. The assessment tool was developed by the NZ Green Building Council and the University of Otago, Wellington, with feedback and input from the five councils and ACC. The steering group behind the WOF survey trial says work is now underway to tweak the WOF checklist.

“We have received good feedback from landlords, tenants and the assessors and we are now going back to look at the checklist and criteria to make sure we have a robust and usable housing WOF for the rental market. The trial was really important so that we could gain an understanding about what is going to work for landlords, assessors and tenants. For a housing WOF to work it has to add value for the landlords and we needed to actually trial the draft WOF checklist and methodology.” –Julie Bennett, University of Otago (Wellington)

Key information gathered from the field trial and subsequent interviews includes:
● Landlords surveyed were supportive of a WOF in New Zealand.
● Landlords surveyed said that they were going to undertake work as a result of the new information from the draft WOF assessment.
● 36% of the homes that went through field trial would pass all of the draft WOF criteria with relatively minor fixes ($50 – $150 worth of materials/hardware estimated).

Examples of items that are attracting most of the attention during this testing phase are whether houses need a fixed form of heating, such as a heat pump or a wood burner, in order to ‘pass’ the WOF. Similarly, one of the requirements of the trial checklist was that all windows have stays for security and to prevent children falling out – however due to difficulties in assessing these, and landlords saying that they were not keen on security stays, the steering group has agreed to drop them from the checklist.

After the inspection system has been refined it will be presented to the participating councils for discussion. Most assessors who were interviewed after the trial said they were willing to make ‘easy’ fixes, while doing the inspections, to make homes compliant. The fixes included installing smoke alarms or smoke alarm batteries, changing light bulbs or adjusting the hot water temperature. Many homes still lack working smoke alarms – despite extensive and ongoing advertising – but the trial also found the overall condition of the homes that participated was good. About 94% of the homes inspected in the field trial did not pass at least one checklist criteria, but most dwellings failed on only a handful of the 31 inspection targets on the WOF checklist. About 36% of homes would pass all the criteria in the draft WOF checklist after just a few minor and inexpensive fixes.

In terms of the next steps for the project, the partners in the project aim to:
● Share the results of the trial, including reporting back to relevant councils.
● Get endorsement/agreement from participating councils on the next steps.
● Continue discussions with Central Government to work towards one WOF tool for NZ.
● Finalise checklists and methodologies.
● Investigate next steps for introduction of a voluntary WOF scheme.

Leith Street houses IMG_9518 (1a)Leith Street villas (1-2 storeys)

Facts and figures from the trial:
● 144 houses inspected.
● The inspection checklist looked at 31 items that covered a wide range of aspects ranging from weathertightness and insulation to ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
● House age ranged from 1880s to less than 10 years old
● Wide range of houses participated – from detached to apartments.
● Average time to inspect houses – 51 minutes.
● The majority of houses ‘failed’ on only a handful of checklist items.
● Top five checklist items that homes did not pass:
○ 40% of houses did not pass the water temperature check
○ 30% of bedrooms did not have a working smoke alarm within 3m of the bedroom
○ 31% of houses lacked code-compliant handrails and balustrades
○ 37% of houses did not pass the check for having a fixed form of heating
○ 38% of houses did not pass the security stays check

█ Full report at www.dunedin.govt.nz/rentalhousing-wof-pretest

Housing WOF Trial – associated information (PDF, 763 KB)

Contact DCC Manager Events and Community Development on 03 477 4000
DCC Link

****

Dundas Street terrace housing IMG_9066 (1a)Dundas Street terraces

### ODT Online Fri, 16 May 2014
Trial shows value in rental housing Wof
By Timothy Brown
None of Dunedin’s houses will pass a rental warrant of fitness if the standards used during a recent trial of scheme are applied. The inspections, carried out by home assessment experts, looked at weather-tightness, insulation and ventilation, lighting, heating, condition of appliances and general building safety.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images by whatifdunedin (2010)

58 Comments

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