18 October 2021

Did you know that when you are asleep you can’t smell? That's why it is vital you have working smoke alarms in all sleeping and living spaces in your home as the smell of smoke is not going to wake you or your whānau up.

If you are renting it is your landlord’s responsibility to install a smoke alarms in the sleeping spaces or within 3 metres of the entrance to every sleeping space, and in each level or storey of a multi-storey or multi-level home.

If you are a tenant, it falls on you to make sure they’re in full working order during the tenancy.

Find more information about the requirements for smoke alarms on our website.

Whilst having smoke alarms in your home is great – if these aren’t working properly they are no use. To make sure they are working all you need to do is press the button once a month and if it sounds then you know it is working and you are protected.

Fire & Emergency New Zealand also recommend vacuuming the smoke alarms every 6 months to get rid of any dust that can build up inside and cause false activations.

Most smoke alarms these days are 10-year photoelectric smoke alarms which means the batteries should last 10 years! They will have an expiration date on the back so, once a year check this and if it is out of date it should be replaced. If you still have the old 9V battery type smoke alarms the batteries will need to be replaced usually every 6 months – if you are a tenant this is your responsibility.

If you are renting and require a smoke alarm to be replaced as it is no longer working properly (i.e. it doesn’t sound when tested or starts beeping for no reason) then get in touch with your landlord. All new smoke alarms installed in rental properties must be the photoelectric smoke alarms, have a battery life of at least eight years, or be hard-wired. They also must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to meet your obligations as a landlord or tenant could result in financial penalties. 

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