Safety first fire policy denies burglary victim

Housing New Zealand refuses a twice-burgled tenant security doors and locks because they are deemed a fire hazard

Housing New Zealand refuses a twice-burgled tenant security doors and locks because they are deemed a fire hazard

A HOUSING New Zealand tenant, burgled twice in the space of a week, has been refused security doors and locks in his home because they are deemed a fire hazard.

The tenant said he no longer felt safe after being targeted twice in one week.

Age Concern social worker Katie Macrae said the elderly man, who lives alone, answered a knock at his front door.
The woman at the door kept him talking while an accomplice went through his back door and stole cash and other items.

He approached Housing NZ to ask if it could install security doors and locks on his windows, but his request was refused.

A Housing NZ spokesperson said it took the safety and security of tenants very seriously and would not install any housing component which could present a safety risk.

“In the case of a house fire, a door or window which cannot be unlocked easily can prevent or delay escape and result in injury or death.”

Instead, the tenant has bought chains for his doors and had them installed with the help of Age Concern.

Housing NZ, the Government agency that provides social housing for New Zealanders in need, said the tenant could make minor alterations to his property as long as he got approval from Housing NZ first.

“All work done to a property must still comply with Housing New Zealand’s fire safety rules and the house must be returned to its original state when the tenancy ends.”

In some circumstances security lighting could be offered if it was not present. The spokesperson said standard front doors on their properties already had a quality locking system, which was able to be opened from the inside without a key.

Housing New Zealand replaces its door locks between tenancies.

“We also install security or restrictor window stays to prevent falls and improve the tenant’s ability to ventilate their home.

“Any Housing New Zealand tenant needing work done to their property should call us free on 0800-801-601 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, or 24/7 for urgent calls.”



A HOUSING New Zealand tenant, burgled twice in the space of a week, has been refused security doors and locks in his home because they are deemed a fire hazard.

The tenant said he no longer felt safe after being targeted twice in one week.

Age Concern social worker Katie Macrae said the elderly man, who lives alone, answered a knock at his front door.
The woman at the door kept him talking while an accomplice went through his back door and stole cash and other items.

He approached Housing NZ to ask if it could install security doors and locks on his windows, but his request was refused.

A Housing NZ spokesperson said it took the safety and security of tenants very seriously and would not install any housing component which could present a safety risk.

“In the case of a house fire, a door or window which cannot be unlocked easily can prevent or delay escape and result in injury or death.”

Instead, the tenant has bought chains for his doors and had them installed with the help of Age Concern.

Housing NZ, the Government agency that provides social housing for New Zealanders in need, said the tenant could make minor alterations to his property as long as he got approval from Housing NZ first.

“All work done to a property must still comply with Housing New Zealand’s fire safety rules and the house must be returned to its original state when the tenancy ends.”

In some circumstances security lighting could be offered if it was not present. The spokesperson said standard front doors on their properties already had a quality locking system, which was able to be opened from the inside without a key.

Housing New Zealand replaces its door locks between tenancies.

“We also install security or restrictor window stays to prevent falls and improve the tenant’s ability to ventilate their home.

“Any Housing New Zealand tenant needing work done to their property should call us free on 0800-801-601 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, or 24/7 for urgent calls.”



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