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Proposal For Mandatory Smoke Alarms

MEDIACOM-BUILDING-INDUSTRY-AUTHORITY

PROPOSAL FOR MANDATORY SMOKE ALARMS

The Building Industry Authority invites comments on its proposal to amend the building law to make smoke alarms mandatory in new household units.

The Authority has distributed its proposed amendments to the Building Act, New Zealand Building Code, and the Approved Documents to more than 600 individuals and organisations with an interest in fire safety in buildings.

"The invitation to comment should be in the hands of those recipients today," said Authority Chief Executive Dr Bill Porteous.

"After careful and considered study of various reports and recommendations, the Authority concluded that a mandatory domestic smoke alarm should be economical to install and should not require a compliance schedule, as would be necessary in a commercial or institutional building," said Dr Porteous.

"This would mean that all new houses will include 9v battery- powered smoke alarms in, or close to, the bedrooms and in `escape routes' such as halls. The alarms will not need to be interconnected."

The requirement for smoke alarms will be included in Clause F7 - Warning Systems of the New Zealand Building Code and will only apply to new houses.

The closing date for comments is Friday 9 June 2000.

When the proposed changes to the legislation are finalised the Authority will submit them to the Minister of Internal Affairs for consideration.

A copy of the proposal is available from the Authority or can be viewed and downloaded from its website www.bia.co.nz

The Building Industry Authority is an independent Crown entity established in 1992 to manage New Zealand's building legislation.

ENDS

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