Safety in your house
Smoke detectors are put in all our houses or flats for your safety - one in each bedroom, the living areas and hallway. They are reliable so long as you look after them. If you think a smoke detector is faulty, let us know straight away.
Test them once a month and when you get home after being away. To test, press the button for about two seconds. The alarm will sound. When you take your finger off the button it will have reset and the light will blink continuously. Clean smoke detectors every six months by gently dusting with a vacuum cleaner brush.
Call us on 0800 801 601 if:
- the red light stops blinking
- there is no alarm when you press the test button
- the detector makes an unusual noise or chirps.
If you set off the smoke detector by accident - say with burnt toast - flap a towel under it and press the hush button if it has one.
Other ways to avoid fires
Keep furniture, clothes and curtains at least one metre from heaters and the fireplace. Ashes can take up to five days to cool so put them in a metal container well away from the house. Always turn off your electric blanket at the wall before getting into bed.
Cooking sparks many fires. Here are a few ways to avoid them:
- Don't leave anything cooking on the stove unattended
- Turn off the heat if oil or fat is smoking
- Keep curtains, plastic electric jugs and tea towels away from the stove
- Regularly empty crumbs from the toaster and clean the oven.
Keeping your house secure
We put security catches on some windows in Housing New Zealand houses and flats. If you have trouble using them please let us know. If someone at your door says they work for us, ask to see their identification. If they can't provide any, call us immediately on 0800 801 601.
A good way to help keep your house and community safe is to join a Neighbourhood Support Group. To find out more about joining or starting a group in your area, call Neighbourhood Support New Zealand on 0800 463 444.
If you're going away:
- make the house look like someone's home by leaving the radio or a light on
- ask a neighbour or friend to clear your mail, or ask New Zealand Post to hold it for you
- see if a friend can mow the lawn for you and put your rubbish out.
If you're going to be away longer than 31 days you need to let us know.
Poisons, asbestos and lead-based paint
Some of our older houses were built with asbestos products and/or painted with lead-based paint. These products are quite safe if they are in good condition. If you see any damage to something that may contain asbestos or have lead-based paint, call us on 0800 801 601 any time. Select Option 1 for Repairs or maintenance. We have strict procedures for dealing with these products and use tradespeople who are used to dealing with them.