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Smoke Alarms Obligatory in 2015

The installation of at least one smoke alarm in all residential properties in France will become obligatory from March 2015.

With only around 15% of residential properties in France fitted with a smoke alarm, the low level of installation has prompted the French authorities to introduce an element of compulsion.

Accordingly, arising from a law passed in 2010, the requirement to have a DAAF (Détecteur Avertisseur Autonome de Fumée) installed becomes operative from 8th March this year.  

In rental properties it is the landlord who is responsible for installation of the alarm, although maintenance responsibility will be that of the tenant.

Although no corps of inspectors will be engaged to go around to check that households have complied with the law, owners will be required to notify their insurance company that the alarm has been installed.

If they fail to do so the insurer can apply an excess on the policy. Some insurers may well also be unwilling to offer cover.

A model form of the notification to your (French) insurer has been published by the government and is set out below:

"Je soussigné(e).......................................... (nom, prénom de l'assuré), détenteur du contrat n°............................. (numéro du contrat d'assurance habitation de l'assuré) atteste avoir installé un détecteur de fumée normalisé au........................................ (adresse de l'assuré) conforme à la norme NF EN 14604.
Fait à............................., le.................................
Signature
"

The regulations state that only a minimum of one alarm need be installed. No location is prescribed, although the best position is generally considered to be on the ceiling in the hallway. An alarm on the ceiling on the upstairs landing is also advisable.

The alarm must comply with the European (and French) standard CE EN 14 604.

This standard requires, inter alia, that it will emit an alarm of at least 85 dB (A) audible at three metres.

In anticipation of the introduction of this law, over the past three years the government consumer protection services have carried out several investigations of alarms that are on the market in France.

As result, some models have been withdrawn from the market, and the general evidence suggests that most models for sale now comply with the minimum standard. However, you need to be a little careful about choosing cheaper models, and you are probably best advised to stick to well-established brands.

Tests carried out by the consumer organisation Que Choisir have rated those models from 'Lifebox' and 'Kidde' to be the best on the market, priced from around €25 upwards.

Related Reading:

This article was featured in our Newsletter dated 07/01/2015





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