Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Kitchen design feature sparks fires

Kitchen design feature sparks fires

In the past month, one Northland home has been destroyed and another badly smoke damaged by fires linked to a common kitchen design feature.

The kitchen or bench ‘appliance garages’ which have a pull-down door to hide away toasters, hot water jugs, and other small appliances are a surprisingly common cause of fires.  If the appliance is not pushed well into the cupboard, the door can easily be accidentally lowered onto the ON/OFF switches or toaster arms.  In the past five years, several homes have been destroyed as a result of these fires.

On 12 December, a two-storey home in Mangawhai was gutted by fire after the roller door of the cabinet was accidentally pulled down onto a toaster handle and the family left the house.  By the time the fire was noticed, it was too late to save the house, said Specialist Fire Investigator Gary Beer.

The second fire, on New Year’s Day, left a Whangarei home badly smoke logged when, again, the appliance garage door was pulled down onto a toaster handle.  “The occupant was at home and was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm.  However, much of the house was smoke logged,” said Mr Beer.

National Manager Fire Investigation and Arson Reduction Peter Wilding said it doesn’t take long for heat to build up in these cabinets and a fire can start within a few minutes.
He raised the issue with some of the national organisations that represent kitchen designers two years ago to make them aware of the problem.  At least one major manufacturer now includes micro switches that shut off power to the cabinet when the door is lowered.

“However, a lot of homes have these types of appliance garages, and the recent fires are a reminder that they pose a very real risk of fire.  Our advice is to turn all appliances off at the wall when they are not being used, but ideally, in these types of cabinets, it would be better to have an electrician install the micro switch.” 

A  Fire Service warning to home owners and building industry relating to these cabinets can be viewed here.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Environment Commission: Time For Historic Step For Climate Change

Dr Wright has recommended a new Act that is similar to the UK Climate Change Act...

A similar law in New Zealand would put emissions targets into law, and require the setting of carbon budgets that would act as stepping stones towards the targets. It would also establish a high-powered independent expert group that would crunch the numbers and provide objective advice. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Act, The Centre-Right’s Perennial Ugly Duckling

Act endures, despite its thoroughly fossilized views: it is the only lighthouse still shining the beams of 1980s market fundamentalism out into the electoral darkness. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Changes To Temporary Work Visas Confirmed

“The consultation process resulted in around 170 submissions and today’s announcement shows the Government has listened to the feedback raised by employers and industry, particularly in the regions,” Mr Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Rental WOF Passes 2nd Reading: Little Bill Goes A Long Way

The strong call from the public for warm, dry, healthy rentals has helped the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill to pass its second reading, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Incomes & Housing Costs: No Signs Of Real Improvement For Poorest Families

CPAG: The latest Household Incomes Survey report shows that not everyone is better off, despite that income poverty seems to have lessened since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. More>>

ALSO:

Turei To Be Interviewed By MSD: Gordon Campbell On The Real Truth Deficit In Welfare

It has been astonishing to see the amount of time and energy being spent on what Greens co-leader Metiria Turei did or didn’t do properly as a beneficiary back in the early 1990s – as compared to how little time and energy is being put into the point of her personal example. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election