Life-saving noise

DEKRA Info January/February 2018

smoke detector

One in five still have no smoke detectors

DEKRA fire protection experts remind owners and tenants of apartments and residential blocks that they would be well advised to check out the protection afforded by smoke detectors. In 2016, 343 people lost their lives in fires in Germany. “Although smoke detectors provide important protection against becoming the victim of smoke poisoning while asleep, there are still a large number of residential properties that do not have them fitted,” says DEKRA fire protection expert Bernhard Schuhmacher. According to a representative forsa survey conducted in March 2017, one in five (21 per cent) people in Germany have still not had a smoke detector fitted in their bedrooms.

It is therefore important to check whether sufficient smoke detectors have been fitted in the house or apartment. It makes sense, and is prescribed by law, to have at least one smoke detector fitted in each bedroom, children's room and in hallways that serve these rooms as emergency exits; in some parts of the country this also extends to living rooms and studies. The transition period for the installation of smoke detectors has already expired in most federal states. For example, it has been a compulsory requirement to fit these devices in existing apartments and residential properties in Bavaria since January 1, 2018.

Also important is to press the standby control of the smoke detector on a regular basis. If the device emits a loud, shrill alarm signal, it is fully functional and can warn occupants of smoke. However, should the device emit muted warning tones at frequent intervals, this means that either the battery needs changing or, in the case of non-changeable batteries, the detector itself.

According to DIN standard 14676, smoke detectors must always be fitted to the ceiling of a room, 50 centimeters away from the wall, and one meter away from furnishings and, in an ideal world, in the middle of the room; in rooms with slanted roofs 50 - 100 centimeters below the ceiling highpoint.


Tilman Vögele-Ebering

Press officer Industrial


Phone +49.711.7861-2122

Fax +49.711.7861-742122

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