Changes to the New Zealand Building Code

NZ Building Code - Smoke Alarm Requirements.

From November 2023 the Building Code Acceptable Solutions for Protection from Fire (C/AS1 and C/AS2) will be amended to make interconnected smoke alarms the minimum fire safety system for new built homes and substantial renovations, citing NZS 4514:2021 – Interconnected smoke alarms for Houses. The standard allows for wirelessly or hard-wired interconnection, using either 10 year long-life battery-powered or 240v mains powered alarms. The changes will have a 12-month transition period ending in November 2024.


Below are the key points of the changes to the acceptable solutions but it is important that you read the details in the Standards New Zealand – NZS 4514:2021 interconnected smoke alarms for houses document, click here to download.


  • Equipment required must be either 10 year long-life battery-operated (non-removable/sealed) or 240v mains powered, interconnected smoke alarms.
  • All smoke alarms must meet compliance standards such as BS EN 14604, AS3786, UL 217, CAN/ULC S531 or ISO 12239.
  • Where more than one smoke alarm is needed to meet the requirements of this standard, these alarms shall be interconnected so that when one activates, all smoke alarm devices in the household unit will sound. The interconnection between alarms may be wired or wireless.
  • Smoke alarms shall be located in all bedrooms, living spaces, hallways and landings within the building.
  • In a multi-level household, there shall be at least one smoke alarm on each level.
  • All smoke alarms must have a hush and test button.
  • Smoke alarms shall be located on or near the ceiling.
  • Where a kitchen or scullery is separated from the living spaces and hallways by doors that can be closed, an alarm specified by its manufacturer as suitable for a kitchen shall be located in the kitchen. This may be a heat alarm to avoid nuisance activations.

The information above is designed as a guide only. There is more information contained in the NZS 4514:2021 interconnected smoke alarms for houses standard. 

Alarm Locations

The best location for any smoke alarm is in the centre of a room, taking into consideration fans, beams or any other fixtures that can cause delayed or nuisance alarms. Placing smoke alarms by heat pumps, air vents or HVAC systems could also cause nuisance alarms. It is important to read the manufacturers installation instructions and the locations information contained in the Building Code Document. 

Building Code Compliant Alarms

The CAVIUS Wireless Family range of smoke alarms are fully compliant with the changes to the New Zealand Building code. 

We offer both 10 year battery operated and 240v mains powered smoke alarms along with our thermal heat alarm and smart remote control. 

The Wireless Family, 10 Year Photoelectric Smoke Alarm is the smallest and most aesthetically pleasing battery operated, interconnected alarm in New Zealand. The alarm comes with two installation options; either flush mounted (38mm profile) or recessed (19mm profile) to give you a low-profile look.
The Wireless Family, Recessed Mains Powered Photoelectric Smoke Alarm is the smallest and most aesthetically pleasing 240v interconnected alarm in New Zealand. At just 97mm in diameter and only a 22mm profile it is without a doubt the smallest and most aesthetically pleasing alarm on the market.