Residents in an Auckland apartment complex have been told an evacuation order issued six days ago is no longer needed after the owners proved the building is compliant.

City Gardens building residents on Albert St were issued the notice on April 12, being told they may need to evacuate by April 22 after significant defects with the fire safety systems was found within the building.

However, Auckland Council’s general manager building consents Ian McCormick today said “additional measures were put in place to ensure the safety of the occupants” and that “good progress has been made”.

“Owners were able to demonstrate that crucial life-saving systems including the alarm systems, sprinklers, smoke and heat protectors and fire doors are all working compliantly.”

In a statement this evening, McCormick told 1News the council “can confirm the building is no longer dangerous” after an inspection and a review of the certification material was completed this evening.

“We are currently in the process of informing the body corporate and residents that they will not be required to vacate the building on Monday. Our next step will be to work with MBIE to formally lift the Dangerous Building Notice.”

However, there is still work that needs to be done on the building, he said.

“There remains some work to do to improve the passive fire systems and complete the separation of the stairwells through the carpark building… However, this situation highlights the importance of building owners regularly inspecting and maintaining building safety systems to ensure the safety of occupants.”

What was wrong?

FENZ district manager Vaughan Mackereth earlier told 1News: “We have concerns about whether the fire safety systems in this building could reliably alert the occupants to a fire anywhere in the building or that they would be able to evacuate the building safely, promptly and efficiently should the need arise.

“It is not certain whether the building’s hydrant system is able to deliver water for firefighting to the upper levels of the building.”

FENZ added that the building had not had a warrant of fitness since 2017, that it was unclear if the building’s fire alarms would alert residents to a fire, or if residents would be able to find the escape routes due to the condition of the signage.

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