15 Mar 2011

Coroner calls for compulsory smoke alarms

10:40 pm on 15 March 2011

A coroner investigating the death of a preschooler in a house fire is urging that the Department of Building and Housing requires all landlords ensure working smoke alarms are installed in rented properties.

Mautua Latu, who was two, died of smoke inhalation in a fire at her home in Porirua in 2008.

Coroner Ian Smith says housing regulations are woefully out of date and recommended the Residential Tenancies Act be amended to require landlords install smoke alarms in rental properties and make checks that they are working.

A spokesperson for Housing Minister Phil Heatley says he is waiting for a report from the department on the coroner's findings.