All French homes to be fitted with smoke detectors by law

18 January 2015

Key points about this news item All French homes to be fitted with smoke detectors by law

From 8th March 2015, all housing in France must have smoke detectors fitted.


Smoke detectors are now required by law in all French homes

It is very common in the UK to have smoke detectors fitted, with the majority of homes having either battery or mains powered units in at least one room of the house.  In France, the opposite is true, with just two percent of homes being fitted with smoke detectors.


Fires in private French homes cause around 800 deaths each year and simply installing smoke detectors could halve this number.  As a result of these findings, the French government has enacted new laws making the installation of smoke detectors mandatory in all homes from 8th March 2015.


The law stipulates that detectors must be installed in all housing, regardless of its use, so that includes second and holiday homes.  The obligation to fit resides with the owner of the property, so if you are in a rental property contact your landlord to make sure they comply before the deadline.


Smoke detectors need to meet the following standards to be met;

  • The detector should be marked with the CE notation or better yet EN 14 604 which is the European norm
  • A power indicator must be included
  • The unit should be powered by batteries, with a minimum operating time of one year, or include AC-power cable.
  • The unit must emit a visual or audible signal, indicating the absence of batteries or low batteries. The error signal must be different than the alarm signal.
  • In case of smoke detection, the unit must emit an alarm signal to a noise level of at least 85 dB (A) audible at 3 metres.
  • The following information must be indelibly marked on the unit: the brand name, address of the manufacturer or supplier number, date of the standard that the detector complies with, manufacturing date or batch number and type of battery to use.
  • The unit should be supplied with instructions for installation, maintenance and control of the sensor and the model certificate that the occupant must provide an insurer in case of a claim for damage caused by fire.


When you purchase your detector, make sure you select a détecteur de fumée ou DAAF (Détecteur Autonome Avertisseur de Fumée).  The units are normally sold next to carbon monoxide detectors called détecteur de monoxyde de carbone and they look very similar.


More information on the law can be found on the French government website.


Once the smoke detectors are installed, it is important to inform your home insurance company.  Although they cannot refuse to pay out if a fire occurs, they will be able to withhold a substantial amount of compensation should it become clear that a smoke detector was not fitted or was not installed correctly.  You may also benefit from a discount once the detectors are installed.



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