It's time to check your smoke alarms

It is critical that smoke alarms are kept in good working order across all New Zealand homes, especially when it comes to the arrival of winter and the fireplaces are on. While Landlords are under special regulations to maintain them and remain compliant with National Tenancy Acts, general homeowners should also follow these rules and treat them as best practice. Your home should be your safe haven and any extra risks just aren't worth taking! 

Here is what you should know...

All information has been sourced from Tenancy Services New Zealand.


General Smoke Alarm Regulations

Smoke alarms must be installed:

  • within 3 meters of each bedroom door, or in every room where a person sleeps
  • in each level or story of a multi-story or multi-level home
  • in all rental homes, boarding houses, rental caravans, and self-contained sleep-outs.

All new smoke alarms must:

  • be photoelectric
  • have a battery life of at least eight years, or be hard-wired
  • installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • meet international standards.

Existing smoke alarms do not need to be replaced if they are working, or have not passed the manufacturer’s expiry date.


Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities and Smoke Alarms

Landlords must ensure smoke alarms:

  • are in working order
  • are working at the start of each new tenancy.

Tenants must:

  • not damage, remove, or disconnect a smoke alarm
  • replace dead batteries during the tenancy if there are older-style smoke alarms with replaceable batteries
  • let the landlord know if there are any problems with the smoke alarms as soon as possible.

Landlords have the right to enter a rental home to comply with smoke alarm requirements after 24 hours’ notice between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm.

Landlords and tenants could be fined up to $4,000 for not meeting their obligations.


To learn more, click here and download the Tenancy Services technical specifications for Smoke Alarms.