Smoke Alarms – Five things Fire and Emergency NZ want you to know


Family Safety are two words I hadn’t considered so fiercely until I started my own family. Like the old saying goes, having kids can feel like your heart is walking around on the outside. With this in mind, what I had always considered a small household item became one of the most important features of our home. With three beautiful humans in my care, I had the stark realisation that a smoke alarm would be our life saver if there was ever a fire in our home.

More often than not, life pre kids, a smoke alarm would sit on the shelf waiting for someone to install it or replace the batteries - how pointless is it having smoke alarms if they're not working correctly! It's so important to maintain our smoke alarms regularly to keep our families safe - spread the word guys!

Luckily for my family’s wellbeing, I have shifted gears and have discovered some interesting facts about smoke alarms:

1/ When it comes to choosing your smoke alarms, Fire and Emergency New Zealand recommends long-life photoelectric smoke alarms as they will give you up to 10 years of smoke detection without needing to replace the batteries. Perfect solution for us parents with lots on our plate.

2/ Did you know smoke alarms themselves need to be replaced after 10 years of service? The batteries may still work but the sensor itself may not!

3/ The expiry date of your smoke alarm can be found on the underside or on the side of the alarm. It may be hard to find so here are some examples of where you might find it on some common types of smoke alarms. If it doesn’t have an expiry date on it be sure to contact the manufacturer. This is too important to let slide.

4/ Dust and debris can stop smoke alarms from working properly, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarms regularly.

5/ If your smoke alarm does have a replaceable battery, change it at least once a year using a 9 volt battery. Your alarms will start to beep regularly if the battery is low.


When it comes to our family’s safety, we can never be too vigilant. Make it a priority today, pop it on the top of your to do list, mark it in your diary and even spread the word!

For more info visit to find out more about checking, choosing and installing smoke alarms.

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