Prior to any new tenancy, it is the landlords responsibility to ensure there are working smoke alarms installed in their rental property. Failure to meet compliance regulations can result in a hefty fine of up to $7,200.
To ensure your rental property is in line with the correct regulatory compliance, smoke alarms must be installed:
- In every bedroom, or within 3 metres of every bedroom door in the property
- On every level of the property
- In any form of rental property, caravan rental, boarding house, and sleepout
Newly purchased and installed smoke alarms must:
- Be a photoelectric smoke alarm
- Come with a battery span of no less than 8 years or be hard-wired and mains-powered
- Be installed according to the instructions issued by the manufacturer
If you have existing smoke alarms that are not long-life or photoelectric, they do not need to be replaced until their expiry date has passed if they are in the required locations and they are in good working condition.
The expiry date should be clearly listed on the smoke alarm. If you cannot see one, it is more than likely over 8 years old. You will need to install new smoke alarms if you cannot determine the expiry date.
Additionally, smoke alarms must comply with one of the following overseas standards:
- Australian Standard AS3786:1993
- international standard: UL217 (USA)
- ULCS531 (Canada)
- BS5446: Part 1 (United Kingdom),
- BS EN 14604 (United Kingdom)
- ISO12239 (International)
This will be clearly labelled on the packaging.
- Landlords must ensure all smoke alarms are in working order at the beginning of every new tenancy
- Landlords must continue to check all smoke alarms are working correctly throughout each tenancy
In boarding houses, landlords need to replace dead batteries in common areas such as kitchens and hallways, while tenants are responsible for smoke alarms in bedrooms.
Non-compliance can result in a financial penalty of up to $7,200 for landlords.
- Tenants cannot remove, disconnect, or damage smoke alarms in any way
- Tenants need to replace any dead batteries throughout their tenancy if older smoke alarms with replaceable batteries are installed in the property
- Tenants must inform their landlord or property manager if they are aware of any smoke alarm issues as soon as possible determine the expiry date.
Tenants can be fined up to $4,000 if they don’t meet their obligations.
The official Fire Emergency New Zealand website recommends:
Once a month
Press the test button to sound the alarm. Tip: Use a broom handle.
Every 6 months
Vacuum or dust your smoke alarms to help avoid false alarms.
Check the expiry date, usually located on the bottom or side.
If you have a 9V battery alarm, replace the battery every year.
Every 10 years
Replace smoke alarms with new long-life photoelectric alarms.
Follow the testing and maintenance schedule from the installer.