Smoke detector obligation: deadline met, deadline passed

The most important question first: in which rooms must smoke detectors be installed?? Bernd kotzner explains it: at least one "in every child's room, in every bedroom and in every corridor leading to living or recreation rooms." the fireman from zeil has dealt with the subject intensively. At his employer, the maincor company, he is a fire protection officer, and he has also qualified as a "smoke alarm specialist have trained. Now he advises companies and private individuals on the questions that can arise in connection with the legal smoke detector obligation.

He also installs the devices and checks their operational readiness. Since 1. According to the bavarian building code, all households must be equipped with smoke detectors by january 1. Although smoke detectors have been mandatory in bavaria since september 2012, there have been various deadlines. For all new buildings constructed after 2012, the smoke detector obligation has been mandatory for five years now. For older existing buildings, the deadline is now 31 december. December 2017 from. Of course, in bernd kotzner's experience, this does not mean that every building has been retrofitted accordingly. One of the reasons for this is that there is no control by the legislator: "no one comes to your house and checks the smoke alarm system."
the 36-year-old sends out a warning: if someone comes by and pretends to want to see if the smoke detectors are installed, that person will certainly have other things on his mind than worrying about fire protection in the building. Therefore: only the person you have commissioned to do so should be allowed access to your smoke alarm devices. If, for example, in rented apartments the landlord has commissioned a specialist for the purpose of installation, the landlord should inform his tenants of this.

Speaking of installation: according to bernd kotzner, it's quite easy and can be done by homeowners or landlords themselves. But if you are unsure, for example because of the specifications or the quality of the smoke detectors, you are in good hands with a specialist.

Peter pfaff, district fire inspector in the habberge district, has made his own experiences, particularly with regard to the quality of the devices. The zeiler firefighter has privately installed a smoke detector system in his home for many years, completely independently of legal obligations, and has also looked at what is available on the market. He advises against smoke detectors costing less than ten euros; cheap products are often less reliable. "There are more false alarms", he says. If the alarm goes off at night, that's annoying in the first place, but if the alarm goes off in the absence of the residents and a person standing outside alerts the fire department because of the shrill warning tone, then the fire department will also be called out. Pfaff explains: "this is to be treated in the same way as an activated alarm." this means that the fire department may have to gain access to the apartment if it is not clear whether it is a false alarm. Smoke detectors that bear certain quality seals significantly reduce this risk, says pfaff.

The district fire inspector gives 20 euros as a rough guide value. Reliable smoke detectors can be purchased in this price range and above, although the price may go "upwards" of course more is possible. According to pfaff, there are smoke detectors that can be networked via radio or that can be controlled via an app. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether this makes sense for their own household. Pfaff considers networking to be advisable: in his own house, for example, he has installed an additional detector in the room with the pellet heating system in the basement. If the alarm goes off, you can hardly or not at all hear it in the bullets, but with the network, the other smoke detectors also jump on alarm and it can be determined where the alarm went off.

Bernd kotzner recommends that, in addition to vds approval (vds stands for "trust through safety"), a fire alarm system should also be certified, it is a seal of approval from the german insurance association ) it should also be ensured that the "flaming q" is shown on the device. According to kotzner it certifies the smoke detector a higher longevity and a higher security before false alarms.

The question remains whether there are legal consequences in the event of a fire if the smoke detector obligation is not fulfilled, or whether the building insurance takes effect or not. Bernd kotzner says that this is not easy to answer. In theory, it should not affect insurance, for example, because the law is designed to save "human lives, not material assets. However, kotzner advised to check with the insurance company. For it is possible that gross negligence can be inferred from the failure to comply with the smoke detector obligation.

So in the event of a fire, the landlord could also get into trouble with the legislator if he has violated his duty of care and can be proven negligent because he has not taken care of the installation of smoke detectors. Because according to the law, the owner of the apartment or building is responsible for the installation and maintenance (ensuring the operational readiness) of the devices.

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