Automatic smoke alarm detectors in residential housing
Since 8th March 2015 smoke detectors are mandatory.
Why install a smoke alarm?
Six good reasons to install a smoke detector:
1) to save your life and that of your family : fatal fires usually occur at night. The smoke detector protects you while you sleep, as well as when you are awake.
2) because it's mandatory : since the 8th March 2015, every owner must equip his/her property with a smoke detector and each occupant has an obligation to maintain it.
3) for detecting smoke : smoke is created at the start of a fire. A detector alerts the occupant(s) at the start of a fire, before it is too late. Smoke injures and kills much more people than the fire itself.
4) to act quickly against fire : the faster we are alerted about a fire the more easily it can be quenched; after one minute, a glass of water is sufficient to extinguish most fires; after three minutes, you need a tank! With a detector, firefighters will be alerted quickly, the fire brought under control as quickly as possible and your lives and your home saved!
5) because it is not expensive a detector costs about twenty euros.
6) because a detector is easy to install : the detector is ideally fixed on the ceiling, primarily in access areas to the rooms.
Which Smoke Detector is best to buy ?
The detector must be in compliance with current regulations namely the European standard EN 14604. If this is the case you will find the CE symbol on the detector and on its packaging.
In addition to the CE symbol, you might find the NF symbol. This is an additional quality certification that indicates the detector was made in France and as such has to conform to Europe standards.
How to install
The smoke detector is best installed on the ceiling, in corridors or the hallway leading to the bedrooms, since smoke naturally rises to the ceiling. If it is only possible to fix to a wall, it is imperative the installation is as high as possible.
Most smoke detectors are attached by two screws.
If a house has several levels, it is best to place at least one detector on each floor.
To Avoid : do not install a detector in the bathroom or in the kitchen, water vapor can trigger the alarm inadvertently .
Who must install a smoke detector ?
All accommodation is concerned , whether newly constructed or existing , apartments or an individual house . The installation of the detector is the responsibility of the property owner. The occupant of the dwelling , whether renter or owner , oversees the maintenance and proper functioning of the detector except in the following cases where the installation and maintenance is entirely the responsibility of the owner :
- seasonal accommodation,
- sheltered housing,
- furnished rentals.
How to prevent fires and protect yourself in the event of one.
Methods for preventing a fire starting :
To prevent a fire it is necessary to observe a few basic rules in regards domestic facilities:
- do not overload electrical sockets ;
- regular maintenance of gas , heating and electricity ;
- keep your eyes open (exposed wiring, scorch marks on lamp shades etc...).
Also to be vigilant and careful :
- extinguish cigarettes properly ( avoid smoking in bed) ;
- monitor pots, pans and dishes on the cooker ;
- keep flammables away from hot bodies (radiators, lamps , hotplates ...)
- keep matches and lighters out of reach of children .
To be alerted as soon as a fire breaks out , especially at night , install a smoke detector .
How to respond to a fire ?
In every situation there is a particular reaction to be adopted, but in every case: never take the elevator and do not enter into the smoke .
A fire in your home:
- Evacuate (risk of gas/smoke intoxification )
- Close the door of the room where the fire is located, and the front door
- When you are out , call the emergency services by dialing 18 or 112 ( European emergency number with English service)
A fire in an adjoining building or flat :
If you can get out do so. If you are trapped:
- Close the doors and put wet cloths along the bottom
- Go to a window and make yourself seen by the emergency services
- If smoke fills your room get down on the floor (smoke rises) and apply a wet cloth over your mouth and nose.