Consumer watchdog calling for ionisation smoke alarms to be pulled from shelves due to slow detection of smoke

Consumer New Zealand is calling for ionisation smoke alarms to be pulled from shop shelves following the outcome of its test.

The test was carried out with a smoke box on 20 different smoke alarms, the majority the photoelectric type and four of which were ionisation alarms, on fast flaming fires and slow-burning, smouldering fires.

While all alarms made a warning eventually, the ionisation alarms were a lot slower to sound the alarm during smouldering fires, which the watchdog's head of testing Paul Smith says is "dangerous."

"Smoudlering fires comes from things like upholstery foam, dodgy wiring in the walls, an extension cable that you’ve left plugged in and wrapped up, or a towel draped over the heater," he said.

He said smoke is the cause of many deaths in house fires and with many occurring overnight, any extra time would be useful.

"Every minute is valuable to be able to get everyone awake and to get out of the house," he said.

Mr Smith said Consumer New Zealand is communicating with retailers to explain why they should not be sold rather than looking for government intervention over their sale.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has recommended the photoelectric type with long battery life for a decade but says any working smoke alarm is better than none.

A previous information video for FENZ said over 80 per cent of fatal house fires involve a faulty smoke alarm or where the household doesn't have one.

Landlords replacing smoke alarms in properties must install photoelectric, long battery life smoke alarms, as stated in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Sale of ionisation alarms in NZ:

The Warehouse stopped sale of ionisation alarms last year.

Mitre 10 sells ionisation alarms, does not recommend customers solely use ionisation alarms.

Bunnings sells ionisation alarms.

PlaceMakers sells ionisation alarms, reviewing position following Consumer New Zealand findings.

Hammer Hardware – some stores sell ionisation alarms.

Foodstuffs (Pak N Save and New World) – Sells ionisation alarms, recommends photoelectric alarms.

Countdown – Stopped ordering ionisation alarms in February, a few may still be on the shelves.

A study found it can take minutes before an ionisation alarm detects smoke. Source: 1 NEWS



Most watched: 'I don't wanna cry in front of these kids' - Unsung hero gets $10k for his devotion to helping Auckland kids on and off the rugby field

Note: This story was first published on Wednesday May 16

Nick has dedicated hundreds of hours to kids in the Mount Roskill community, and it's time for him to be recognised. Source: Seven Sharp

He's described as a true unsung hero, the invisible glue that holds the community together, now an Auckland man who has dedicated years of his life to helping hundreds of kids is being recognised for his work.

Nick Tuialii has given up his free time to coach Mount Roskill kids on the rugby field.

The kind-hearted coach is called "dad" by many of the boys he coaches and has even opened his home to some of them when they needed a roof over their heads.

Nick is fundraising to take a team on a rugby trip to Samoa, thanks to ASB he has been gifted $5000 to help make it happen.

"I don't wanna cry in front of these kids mate," Nick told Seven Sharp's Sam Wallace for their ASB Good as Gold segment, tearing up when surprised with the gift at rugby training.

That was just the beginning of the emotions though, when Nick learned he would also be getting another $5000 for a holiday for him and his wife.

The deserving couple says they will be using the funds to visit their daughter and her husband to be in London.


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'He's going to go to hell' says woman sexually abused by Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian in the '80s

The death of controversial Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian is drawing mixed reaction from those who knew him.

While the West Coast commune mourns his loss, others have taken the opportunity to speak out against him. 

The closed community closed ranks even further on what's believed to be the day of their leaders' funeral, just one day after 92-year-old Hopeful Christian is reported to have died.

For some, his death has simply brought relief. He sexually abused Yvette Olsen in the 1980s.

Sunday’s Jehan Casinader interviewed the religious leader before he died, and says the community will adapt to go on without him. Source: Breakfast

"His destruction of my life is finally over," Ms Olsen said from Australia today.

"He's going to be before God and he's got to answer for every one of those people whose lives he destroyed. And then he's going to go to hell," she said.

He founded the Cooperites in North Canterbury in the 1960s, when the Australian evangelist was known as Neville Cooper. 

"It's been firm, tight even grim control from the inside that's the mark of this community," Peter Lineham, religious historian said today.

Christian was convicted of sex offences in the 1990s and jailed for 10 months. But his following remained loyal, moving to the West Coast to build Gloriavale which now has 500 members.

The controversial religious leader died today after a battle with cancer. Source: Sunday

But will their leaders' death bring about the demise of the community he built?

"I think it would go against the ethos of the community that anyone would take the place of the person they revere as their prophet and founder," Mr Lineham said.

In 2007 Christian granted TVNZ's Sunday programme his first ever television interview.

"The moment I started questioning him, challenging his principles and values and his history, he was very defensive. He was squirming," Sunday correspondent Janet McIntyre said today.


While the West Coast commune mourns his death at 92, others have taken the opportunity to speak out against him. Source: 1 NEWS