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Otaki fire avoidable: Fire Service

Otaki fire avoidable: Fire Service


The suspicious fire that destroyed part of an Otaki recycling plant on Monday has highlighted the importance of adherence to building regulations, the national manager of fire safety integration Gary Talbot says.

Plastic barrels outside the building were set alight and four young people are being sought in connection to the fire.

Mr Talbot is thrilled to learn that Pacific Plastics will rise from the ashes – securing the jobs of 35 people – but says the fire highlights that some buildings are worth more than simply their insured value.

“This factory has a significant economic, social and cultural value in the Otaki community because of the livelihoods it generates and more consideration needs to be given to protecting valuable assets like this.

“It also highlights the need for building owners and occupiers to be vigilant in ensuring their storage yards are adequately secured.”

Combustibles such as pallets, packing crates and waste containers also need to be stored clear of the buildings and neighbouring premises. It is a requirement in Regulation 9 of the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 1992 that goods and materials are stored in such a way as to prevent the spread of fire to any nearby buildings, road or other public space.

Building owners can be fined up to $200 for a first offence, however Mr Talbot says the Fire Service prefers to take an educational approach.

“The Fire Service is always happy to discuss ways to keep your building fire-safe and compliant so anyone needing advise should contact their local fire station.”

“The New Zealand Fire Service is pleased to read that Pacific Plastics in Otaki will rise from the ashes and urges the building owners to seriously consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in their new complex to protect from any future fires.”

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