Smoke alarms

We tested 12 models to see which respond fastest to smoke.

Smoke alarm on ceiling.

Cavius

CAV10

score

70

Avg price

$50

Member Reviews

    Test results

    • 65
      Ease of use

    Why is this free?

    This report is free thanks to funding from Tenancy Services.

    Consumer NZ is non-profit. To help us get a fairer deal for all New Zealand consumers you can become a Consumer member or make a donation. We’ll use your contribution to investigate consumer issues and work for positive change.

    Donate

    How we test

    Overall score is based on smouldering and flaming fire sensitivity.

    Good” or “OK” meant the alarm sounded quickly enough to alert you to danger.
    Poor” meant the alarm took significantly longer to sound.
    Extreme” sensitivity meant the alarm sounded so quickly they are more likely to issue false alarms.

    Ease of use includes instructions and ease of installation.

    Noise is measured in a quiet room 3m from the alarm.

    Find out more about how we test smoke alarms

    More test results

    • Smouldering fire sensitivity

      Good

    • Flaming fire sensitivity

      OK

    Model

    • Avg price

      $50

    • Alarm type

      Photoelectric

    • Noise

      95dBA

    • Battery type

      Sealed lithium

    • Size

      Mini

    Features

    • Battery life

      10 years

    • Alarm life

      10 years

    • Warranty

      5 years

    • Hush period

      10min

    • Carbon monoxide alarm

    • Alarms can be linked

    • Voice alerts

    More info

    • Notes

      -

    • Availability

      -

    Member reviews

    8 Member reviews

    no expiry date on unit

    Pros

    small and unobtrusive

    Cons

    Expiry date not embedded on fire alarm but printed on tag which is removed on install. Expiry dates of smoke alarms must be recorded on Tenancy Agreements. Furthermore these units are advertised as long lif but some have failed within 18 months will not be purchasing anymore of there over priced units when a more reliable unit can be purchased for half price.
    Will not be purchasing any more and will advise all my contacts.

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Michael B.

    Used 6 months or more

    False advertising!

    Pros

    Nice small size

    Cons

    Battery life is < 5 years on many of the units we bought for different houses

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Jon D.

    Used 6 months or more

    Keith

    Pros

    It is loud, will alert the heaviest sleeper

    Cons

    '10 Year' battery lasted 4 years and 5 months

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Keith

    Used 6 months or more

    Reliability of the batteries questionable

    Pros

    Small and inconspicuous and easy to install

    Cons

    I purchased 9 of these Cavius 10yr units and installed in rental properties and holiday home about 2 years ago. Three units have since failed. 1 gave occasional false alarms and was replaced same brand and fine after that. Two more recently have had battery failures and had to be replaced. Starting to loose confidence they will last the distance.

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Geoff H.

    Used 6 months or more

    Battery doesn’t last 10 years

    Pros

    Small and unseen

    Cons

    We installed 5 of these is our house which we have owned for 5 years. So far 2 of the 5 have a low battery beep.

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Dd M.

    Used 6 months or more

    Small, loud, but only somewhat reliable.

    Pros

    It's small size makes it inconspicuous. This can be good in rental properties where some tenants with a habit of burning toast take down alarms as a 'precaution' against false alarms - they don't know it is an alarm, so keep it on the ceiling. Their good looks make it great for high spec homes. Alarm is loud and piercing - great for waking you up, not so great for testing!

    Cons

    The unfamiliar size and shape can lead to some false accusations that the landlord hasn't provided alarms. The side test button is unexpected, so some tenants don't test these themselves (I recommend landlords check alarms every 6 months or less). If you don't have it properly clipped into the bracket the alarm won't work, so make sure you test it after installation. Cavius did a recall of some batches, if one fails check if it was from this run. They do fail before 10 years, I've had several in both my own home and rentals that haven't lasted more than 3 years before beeping 'flat'.

    Recommend it?

    Maybe, it depends on what you're after.

    Jackie

    Used 6 months or more

    Small and great quality

    Pros

    - Small and aesthetically appealing
    - battery lasts for 10 odd years
    - doesn’t give false positives like many of the cheaper ones
    - easy to install

    Cons

    - pricey, but I figured with cost of batteries over 10 years for a cheaper one it evens out

    Recommend it?

    Yes, I recommend this product.

    Jimy

    Used 6 months or more

    Great smoke alarm in a small package

    Pros

    Size and now one battery for life - 10 years. I have the original ones where battery lasts 5 years, now on second battery.

    Cons

    Costs more but worth it.

    Recommend it?

    Yes, I recommend this product.

    Ray M.

    Used 6 months or more