a smoke alarm

Smoke Detector

Smoke alarms

A smoke detector is a device that detects smoke, typically as an indicator of fire.  Household smoke alarms issue a local audible alarm from the detector itself.  According to the New Zealand Fire Service, last year they attended 3,700 house fires.  In over 80% of those fires, smoke alarms were either not installed or not working.  The New Zealand Fire service recommend the installation of long-life photoelectric type smoke alarms.  For more information visit New Zealand Fire Service website.



Smoke detectors do emit small amounts of radiation.  The National Radiation Laboratory advises that the radioactive material found in your smoke detector is significantly smaller than the amount naturally occuring in New Zealands soil.  The National Radiation Laboratory recommends that smoke detectors can be disposed of to the regional landfill through your local rubbish collection service.

Where do I dispose of it?
  • Local rubbish collection service


For more information about radiation in the home visit the National Radiation Laboratory site.