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More Needs To Be Done In Northland

Smoke Alarms Will Save Lives But More Needs To Be Done In Northland

Alliance MP Grant Gillon is welcoming a major fire-safety drive to install smoke alarms in at-risk Northland homes but warns that smoke alarms should not be relied upon to stop the Northland fire tragedies.

"Smoke alarms should not cause us to be complacent about fire safety. While alarms are highly valuable in warning the occupants of a house to a fire danger they do not prevent ignition or extinguish a fire. They should not be seen as the entire solution," said Grant Gillon.

"The cause of some of the recent fires in the Northland region has been attributed to the use of candles. As smoke from candles can set off a smoke alarm there is a danger that this may lead to the devices being removed or the batteries being disconnected.

"The danger of ignition must also be urgently addressed.

"The Accident Compensation Corporation and the Fire Service are to be applauded for the smoke alarms initiative. The Northland region has had to face far too many fire tragedies, not only in the last few months but in the last few years. The initiative will undoubtedly save lives but it should be seen as a great first step in the unravelling of a complex problem," said Grant Gillon.

"Tragedies such as the Herekino fire highlight the devastating downstream consequences of long standing poverty. In order to prevent further tragedies underlying socio-economic factors such as poor housing and lack of employment opportunities must also be addressed.

"The Government has already embarked on policies to aid the regional development of Northland and is fast tracking initiatives in housing, housing maintenance, education and other important areas," said Grant Gillon.

Ends


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