Wood burners (fireplaces)
Fireplaces are one of the oldest ways of heating homes but there are significant safety issues associated with their installation, so regulations exist to minimise potential risk to your family.
Installing a fireplace
You must get a Building Consent before installing any fireplace. This helps to ensure the fireplace meets all safety standards.
If you are planning to install a new residential solid fuel fire, you need to fill out and lodge the online Building Consent/PIM Form 2 application form.
The application requires the following documentation:
- A full plan of the house showing the location of the burner, sleeping areas, smoke alarms and any sleep-out on the property.
- A copy of the fireplace manufacturer’s specifications and installation instructions for the fire and flue (second hand fires or flues are NOT permitted).
- Details of the proposed flashing of flues (including any alternative solution).
- If the application includes a wet-back, a plumbing specification and schematic drawing for the hot water cylinder, wet-back and tempering valve. Note: All plumbing work must be completed by a registered plumber.
- Approved smoke detectors with hush buttons must be installed in or within three metres of each sleeping space and in the escape routes on all levels within the household unit.
Ensure that you apply for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) once the installation is complete (see below).
What will the Building Consent cost?
Solid Fuel Heater applications have a fixed fee which allows for one inspection during installation. Additional inspections, if required, will cost extra; see: Council's Fees and Charges page - Solid Fuel heaters.
What type of solid fuel heater can you install or use?
Council can only approve Building Consent applications for models of solid fuel heaters that have been tested by the Ministry for the Environment. For the full list of tested fires, including brands, models and emission rates, see: Ministry for the Environment.
The heater must comply with the National Environmental Standards for air quality if it is installed on properties of less than 2ha.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (which oversees air quality in Hawke’s Bay) has set limits on fireplace emissions within the areas worst affected by air pollution. These areas are called “Air Sheds”. For more information see: Hawke's Bay Regional Council or phone the regional council on +64 6 835 9200. For a map of the Hastings' air shed see the Hawke's Bay Regional Council website.
Old and existing fireplaces
Hawke's Bay Regional Council has set rules that ban certain types of non-complying fires and older fires from being used. These models will need to be replaced with a complying model or alternative heating system. For more information on the types of fires that can and cannot be used see the Hawke's Bay Regional Council website.
All solid fuel heater installations must be inspected by a Hastings District Council building inspector.
For insert fires (into an existing chimney including those with a wetback), the officer will need to carry out the inspection during the installation of the heater in order to inspect the prepared chimney, any wetback and hot water cylinder components, and the final installation position of the fire.
For free-standing fires (including those with a wetback), the officer will need to carry out the inspection on the completion of the installation.
To book an inspection phone, Council.
If your inspection fails, Council will need to re-inspect the installation and you will be invoiced for additional inspections.
Final step: Code Compliance Certificate
When the installation has been passed, you must complete an application for a Code Compliance Certificate. The building officer who carries out your inspection will provide you with this form. On receiving your signed Application for Code Compliance Certificate, Council will issue your Code Compliance Certificate (subject to any additional fees being paid).
NOTE: Do not use (light) your fire until Council’s building officer has passed the final inspection and you have applied for and received your Code Compliance Certificate.
Using your fire without a Code Compliance Certificate may invalidate an insurance claim related to the heater.
For more information see Council's Code Compliance Certificate page.