Fire doesn’t happen to me… That’s what many people think. However, the fire department receives thousands of reports of fires in homes every year. Sometimes, there is only property damage, but all too often, there are also fatalities and injuries.
From 1st July 2022, it is mandatory for every dwelling to have a smoke detector on each floor, including your home. This applies to both new construction and existing buildings. Additionally, the fire department recommends products such as carbon monoxide detectors, fire blankets, first aid kits, and spray fire extinguishers. Installing a smoke detector nowadays is extremely easy.
Some people, for example, use double-sided tape. While you’re at it, go ahead and insert a 10-year lifespan battery. In this article, we provide multiple tips on using smoke detectors and handy facts about these devices.
Where should smoke detectors be installed?
It is mandatory to have at least one smoke detector installed on each floor. However, for added safety, the general advice is to not only have them in sleeping areas but also in escape routes. This allows for a quick and effective response in case of fire.
Install the smoke detector on the ceiling (as smoke rises), but at least 50 cm away from walls or corners.
At the very least, install smoke detectors in the hallway and landing. These are usually the escape routes in case of a fire. Even better, install detectors in all bedrooms, the living room, and areas where a fire could potentially occur.
For maximum security, consider installing carbon monoxide (CO2) detectors in all spaces where combustion appliances are present, such as a heating boiler, fireplace, and the like.
For the installation of smoke detectors, the following guidelines apply:
In any case:
On every floor, on the ceiling.
At least 50cm away from walls or corners, away from drafts, near mechanical ventilation, above a heating source, or above steam or vapor from a dryer.
In every room that leads to bedrooms (escape route).
In the room where the washing machine and dryer are located.
But preferably also:
In each bedroom.
In the living room and/or any other living area.
In every room where electronic devices are charged, such as phones, tablets, bikes, or hoverboards.
If you have a sloping wall, hang the detector 90cm from the highest measured point of the ceiling.
What should I consider when purchasing a smoke detector?
Always choose an approved smoke detector with the EN 14604 certification mark. This certification ensures that the smoke detector meets necessary quality requirements regarding product information, maintenance, durability, and environmental aspects. Only smoke detectors with this certification mark may be sold.
How do I maintain my smoke detectors?
Monthly, use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the detectors. This will ensure that the detectors continue to work properly and function optimally in case of an emergency. If too much dust accumulates in the detector, it can affect its operation and cause it to go off even without smoke. Test the detectors every month by pressing the test button. Do not wait until the battery is completely drained to replace it, but replace all batteries on a fixed day each year or use batteries with a 10-year lifespan.
Does the smoke detector requirement affect my insurance?
This is something that each insurer decides individually and includes in its terms and conditions. Note that some insurers may take the requirement into account when determining the premium or the payout amount. However, the majority of insurers do not consider it.