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Fire safety improvements to be carried out at Arena One grandstand

Thursday July 27 2017

Palmerston North City Council is to carry out fire safety improvements to the Arena One grandstand including the rear concourse and lounge area.

The action is being taken after a report from an independent fire safety specialist identified some safety issues. The report was ordered by Council after the press gallery on level four of the grandstand was refurbished earlier this year. Highlighted in the report is the need to make sure there are enough fire barriers in place between the grandstand and the lounge area.

Interim Chief Executive David Wright says Council immediately issued a Notice to Fix and a project team is giving priority to addressing the issues raised in the report.

“We have acted immediately.  It is the only responsible course of action, as we take the safety of our staff and visitors seriously. We can confirm that all active detection systems such as alarms and sprinklers are, and have always been, operational and compliant.

“We are doing everything we can to address the situation to ensure the building is available for upcoming major events. At this time, we are not able to give a definitive answer as to when all matters will be fully addressed.”

Specialist fire safety contractors are working on-site and a project manager is ensuring the work is carried out as quickly as possible.

Arena staff are working with event organisers to advise them of the situation. If at any time there is any level of safety risk, temporary access restrictions will be put in place, or assistance offered with providing alternative venue options.

The improvements include fitting smoke seals to some service, waste and cable ducting as the report found there was insufficient fire stopping measures in parts of the building. Smoke and fire seals maximise the effectiveness of fire and smoke resistant floors and walls.