Open fire could cost you $20,000

Homeowners will have to block fireplaces and replace outdated burners.

Metropolitan Auckland residents may be at risk of a $20,000 fine if they flout the council’s planned ban on indoor open fires.

The regulatory committee today recommended the council adopt a by-law to ban indoor open fires in city areas. The by-law could come into effect next May following hearings in February.

The by-law provides for fines of up to $20,000 on conviction of non-compliance. The council says, however, that it would adopt an educational approach rather than taking people to court.

The by-law would apply to the metro areas of the city but not rural areas and not towns such as Pukekohe, Wellsford and Warkworth.

It would from May next year require the removal of pre-2005 woodburners and the disabling of open fires prior to the sale of a home.

From October 2018 the use of open fires and pre-2005 burners would be banned. Use of coal for residential heating would be banned from May 2015.

Information on open fires and woodburners in a house is expected to be recorded on LIM reports.

To sell a home with an open fire the owner would have to disable it by :

  • permanently covering the fireplace
  • permanently blocking the chimney or
  • removing the fire bricks

NZ Herald Article – Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

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