I was saddened to read a story on Stuff NZ of another fatality in a Ponsonby house fire.
The current legislative requirements to protect homeowners, residents and tenants are woefully inadequate. These date back to 2003 and simply include the installation of a battery operated hush kit smoke detector. It gets worse… Only one of these is required in a modern home if all the bedrooms are clustered together.
When I look at the technological advances that have been made throughout all industries, including the building industry over the last twelve years, I’m astounded that the legislation hasn’t been updated to include other more superior products and requirements that are recognised for their effectiveness around the world.
It's time the New Zealand building industry stood up to the World Cup of fire protection so we can save Kiwi’s lives!
An article in the Irish Times highlights how more than 600 residents of a Dublin docklands apartment complex face evacuation from their homes on Thursday on the orders of Dublin Fire Brigade, if they cannot fund €4 million of fire safety works.
As a building law educator I know this is happening in New Zealand’s commercial buildings. I believe it's the next leaky building crisis.
The current regime cannot seem to stop this from happening as people either deliberately, or in ignorance bash holes through fire walls without properly sealing. In haste, contractors take short cuts or use cheaper less effective "elephant snot" when installing. Then, of course, there are the Swiss cheese holes of the past buildings that once complied by data cable, other trades have compromised.
IQPs are making these shocking discoveries when they annually inspect properties through the BWOF process. Some building owners resist vehemently as the fix ups are expensive (of those, I ask, what price safety?) and some contractors are sadly in denial.
Please don’t be part of this problem, be a life saver…
- If you work in Compliance, Companies, are part of an IQP firm or an IQP.
- If you’re a staff member for a local territorial authority working in BWOF Compliance or Compliance Schedule writing; or
- If you’re a Manager of an IQP register, Facility Manager, Asset Manager, Building owner or an owner’s agent.
Register for one of the Building Networks NZ IQP Forums in Christchurch on 29th October (Register HERE) or Dunedin on 30th October (Register HERE).
You’ll learn more about:
- Case studies of building types and risks with passive fire systems
- What should be checked for in terms of Fire and Smoke Separations
- How the proposed new Health and Safety requirements affect IQP work and BWOF requirements.
- How the BWOF fist within fire service requirements and fire evacuations.
This is your chance to be part of a solution to a very real problem that is alive and kicking in New Zealand!