The local Fire Service has been praised for offering free assistance to help the elderly install smoke alarms.
Hastings resident Shirley Brown contacted Hawke's Bay Today to praise the Fire Service for visiting her home to ensure her smoke alarms had been installed correctly.
Ms Brown contacted the Hastings fire department after a "fire scare" at the weekend.
Two Fire Service officers visited her on Tuesday to help install a smoke alarm and to inspect the fire safety of the house.
Ms Brown said she had trouble installing smoke alarms herself.
"I can get up a ladder but I can't get down. I can't speak highly enough of the Fire Service. They were absolutely fabulous, they even moved one of the alarms into a better position. I'm sure we're the only country with a service like that," Ms Brown said.
Napier Fire Service senior station manager Glenn Drew said the "smoke alarms in the home service" is a nationwide service which identifies at-risk groups and offers to check their home smoke alarms for free.
Incorrectly installed smoke alarms was a common problem, Mr Drew said.
"There are a lot of people that will buy a fire alarm but for one reason or the other [but] may not be able to install it properly."
Each year, the New Zealand Fire Service attends more then 3500 house fires.
In 80 per cent of the fatal house fires attended by the Fire Service there were either no smoke alarms, or no working smoke alarms.