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Fire & Emergency NZ says two house fires in Dannevirke over the past week show the importance of working smoke alarms.

At 1am on Saturday, smoke alarms woke the occupants of a house after a chimney fire spread through the ceiling.

Fire & Emergency NZ Area Manager Ken Cooper says volunteer firefighters were able to respond quickly to the call out.

He says this shows smoke alarms can save lives, with the early warning from smoke alarms allowing vital minutes to get out and give the best chance of survival.

Mr Cooper says house fires can be deadly within three minutes so it’s important to get out as quickly as possible.

The second house that caught fire was found to have no smoke alarms, with the occupants not home at the time.

Mr Cooper says those that don’t have smoke alarms should install them, with at least one in every bedroom, hallway and living area.

He says you can’t always predict a fire, but you can be prepared in case it does happen.

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A new soft plastic recycling initiative has arrived in Hawke’s Bay.

Setup by The Packaging Forum, the service allows people to recycle their soft plastic bags and wrappers.

New World Waipukurau is one of the first in the region to adopt the initiative, and owner Gerard Kennedy says all plastics collected will be sent to Future Post in South Auckland, where they will be turned into various items, such as fence posts.

Packaging Forum CEO Rob Langford says over 70% of New Zealanders can now access its recycling service, with more than 160 drop-off points around the country.

Along with New World Waipukurau, The Warehouse stores in Napier and Hastings, and Countdown Waipukurau will all have the distinctive recycling bins in store.

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A further power discount is on the way for Central Hawke’s Bay power consumers.

In June, 8442 Centralines customers received a discount on their power accounts, totalling $1.55 million.

The company says to brighten the cold season even more, Central Hawke’s Bay consumers connected the network as at 31 May 2021 can also look forward to an extra winter discount.

The discount will appear on power accounts sent in August.

Central Hawke’s Bay Consumers Power Trust Chair, Alistair Setter said the Trust continues to be very happy with the performance of Centralines.

He said the past twelve months have seen increased electricity volumes through the network as a consequence of more power use at home during the COVID lock down, a surge in demand following this, along with growth in customers connected to the network and increased irrigation pumping due to the ongoing drought conditions.

Mr Setter said the extra discount will serve as a welcome addition at a time when power bills are generally higher and the uncertainty of COVID is still present.

Centralines Chairman, Ian Walker, said the winter discount varies depending on how much electricity consumers have used over the past 12 months, and how many ICP’s they have.

He said a residential electricity consumer will receive a minimum discount of $55.

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Staff at Findex CHB are back at work.

Earlier this week the building that Findex staff work from was closed due to an asbestos risk.

Staff returned to work on Wednesday after testing showed it was safe to return to the building.

Asbestos was discovered in a part of the ceiling above the Findex offices.