From the 8th March of this year, owners of properties in France, must have smoke alarms fitted. If you are currently renting a property, and no alarms are fitted then you need to get in touch with your landlord or rental agency to see about getting some fitted before the deadline.
The law, which was orginally passed in March 2010, comes into force on the 8th March 2015, this year, and properties could be checked to see if they have been fitted and that they comply to the European standard, which must carry the European EN14604 mark.
The Government have introduced this law, in a bid to halve the annual toll of 800 deaths and 10,000 people left with disfiguring burns.
House fires are the second highest cause of death for children under five, after drowning.
The number of house fires has doubled over the past 20 years to 250,000 a year and ministers say fatalities would be halved if smoke detectors, costing €10-€20, were fitted.
Once fitted, you must tell your house insurer that you have fitted a smoke alarm and they may give a discount on the premium. Anyone who does not tell their insurer or does not fit an alarm may face an “excess” of up to €5,000 for any damage caused by a fire.
Alarms should be on the ceiling in the centre of a room or, for homes on one level, just before the bedrooms. For houses on two floors, fit the alarm on the ceiling at the top of the stairs.
The main differences between the different type of detectors is that there are Ionisation ones which are normally the cheapest and are very sensitive to flame fires such as chip pans, but not fumes from smouldering foam filled upholstery and wiring which is the speciality of more expensive Optical detectors. There are also some detectors which are Combined, which do both.