Question: what do you estimate: how many percent of the apartments were allowed to have smoke detectors in the meantime??
Roland eckert: it is very difficult to make an estimate, but I would say that it is below 50 percent. Landlords must install smoke detectors in rented rooms, and this will probably also be done.
What is the deadline?
Eckert: the bavarian building code stipulates that smoke alarms are mandatory. The obligation applies only to dwellings and must be completed by 31. December 2017 will be implemented.
In which rooms exactly?
Eckert: the building code states: in apartments, bedrooms and children’s rooms, as well as corridors leading to common rooms, must each have at least one smoke detector.
How is this controlled??
Eckert: official inspections are not foreseen. There is an appeal to responsibility. After all, it’s a matter of one’s own life.
Are there differences in the quality of smoke detectors??
Eckert: as with all products, there are also differences in smoke detectors. The buyer should make sure that the smoke alarm has a trustworthy certificate – for example, the ‘vds’ mark or a tuv certificate. You should make sure that the detector has a function that indicates the end of the battery voltage. As a rule, this is done by a beep sound. In the meantime, there are detectors with a battery that have a service life of ten years.
The question of cost
What about the costs?
Eckert: they are manageable. The prices start at around ten euros per piece. The obligation to install smoke alarms applies to builders; in existing apartments, the owners are responsible for the installation.
What effects do you expect from the introduction of smoke detectors??
Eckert: people cannot perceive smoke while they are asleep, which is why smoke alarms are the best way to warn people who are asleep.
Currently, there seems to be a new scam with the smoke detectors – what do you know about it?
Eckert: I have heard that people go from house to house and want to check smoke detectors. They apparently want to gain access to apartments to scout them or steal valuables. From the point of view of the fire department, the following points should be noted: the fire departments do not check whether smoke detectors are present. We do not entrust this to other people. Flyers and other publications on this subject do not come from the fire departments. Should someone claim that he was sent by the fire department, caution is advised.
What do you advise if something seems strange here??
Eckert: if someone claims that they have to check the installation of smoke detectors, do not allow them to enter the apartment – and at the same time notify the police! Photo: W. Brown