Smoke Alarms mandatory in Rentals NOW!

Smoke Alarms - every home should have them, including rentals

Whether you own your own home or are renting you should make sure you have working smoke alarms. Investing in long-life photoelectric smoke alarms means you can rest easy knowing you and your family are protected. 

Long-life photoelectric smoke alarms are also mandatory in rental properties NOW. So call us today and we can help make sure you comply with the new Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

To comply with the RTA, smoke alarms must be installed:

  • within 3 metres 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, and have not passed the manufacturer’s expiry date.

Landlords and tenants are responsible for maintaining 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 8am and 7pm.

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

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Smoke Alarms - why they are so important

Many fire fatalities happen at night when people are sleeping and don’t smell the smoke. Working smoke alarms are the best way to make sure you and your family get an early warning of a fire so you can get out alive. 

 They are compulsory in Rentals - the Government has also made it compulsory that all rental properties must have long-life smoke alarms installed from 1st July 2016. From July 2019 all private rental properties must have both insulation and long-life smoke alarms installed. We can help ensure your rental property is compliant for both smoke alarms and insulation. 

Where to put Smoke Alarms

For optimum smoke detection, long life photoelectric smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway in the house.

NZ Fire Emergency suggests, at an absolute minimum, that a long-life photoelectric smoke alarm should be installed in the hallway closest to the bedrooms. This should be supplemented with other alarms as soon as possible.

Smoke alarms can be battery operated or can be hard-wired into a building's mains power. NZFE recommends hard-wired smoke alarms as they are more reliable and that smoke alarms be interconnected. This means that when one smoke alarm detects a fire, all alarms throughout the house will sound to alert all the occupants of your home.


Where NOT to put Smoke Alarms 

There are different types of alarms for different locations within the home. Installing smoke alarms in the wrong place can cause nuisance alarms.

Don’t install a smoke alarm in your kitchen (smoke and heat from cooking can activate the alarm), the bathroom or laundry.


What sort of Smoke Alarm is best?

We recommend installing long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms in your home. They may cost a little more but the benefits are significant: 

• They provide about 10 years smoke detection. • They remove the frustration of fixing the 'flat battery beep' at inconvenient times such as at 3 in the morning. • The cost of replacement batteries for standard alarms means the long-life one effectively pays for itself over its lifetime. • You don't have to climb ladders every year to replace batteries.

But, at a minimum, you should install one standard long-life photoelectric type alarm in the hallway closest to the bedrooms. When Smart Energy Solutions visits you we can show you the best places to put your smoke alarms to help protect your family and home.

Book your Home Assessment today and we'll help ensure your home or rental property has working smoke alarms. And remember, they are compulsory NOW in rental properties.

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