Smoke detector: what price, how to install it and what the law says

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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You haven't installed your smoke detector yet, it's not too late. And in this case, it is normal to ask yourself a few questions… Like how to choose the right detector and how to install it properly afterwards. Follow the leader.

What the law says ?

The Morange law of 2010, supplemented by the Alur law of 2014, makes it compulsory, before March 8, 2015, to install smoke detectors in all places of residence - second homes included. If you are a landlord, you will need to purchase the detector. It will then be up to the tenant to install it himself - unless the accommodation is rented from March 9, 2015: in this case, it is up to the owner to install it.

If you do not install a smoke detector, no sanction is provided by law. And if a fire breaks out, your insurer will not be able to deny you fire cover. On the other hand, if you are a tenant and you move, you will have to return your apartment to the landlord with an installed detector.

Which device to choose?

We don't mess with security. We advise you to choose a CE marked device, and conforms to European standard NF EN 14 604. This means that your detector will have been factory checked by an independent accredited laboratory.
No need to buy a connected smoke detector, like the Nest Protect. Admittedly, it is beautiful on the design side, efficient, but it costs 109 euros. In addition to somewhat gadget features, its purpose is to warn you at night on your smartphone... whereas the detector's alarm in itself is enough. In addition, the data is likely to be captured by Google – in terms of privacy, we have seen better.

The Nest Protect is sleek and efficient, but it also costs ten times as much for purely gimmicky features

Battery-powered detectors (CE marked), provided that the battery is changed every year, are just as effective, and above all less expensive. On average, a good detector costs between 15 and 20 euros (cheaper, it's risky on the security side), for a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.

How to install your detector?

No need to be a great handyman, the installation is simple and will only take you about ten minutes. First, read the manual carefully. Then choose the right location, in compliance with installation standards.

You need one detector per floor, and if you have a large house, one every 70 m². The device must be screwed to the ceiling, as far as possible from the kitchen and bathroom (to prevent it from triggering due to steam), chimneys and ventilated spaces. Preferably install it in an open space, such as a hallway. Put one in your bedroom if you use a space heater, or worse, if you smoke in bed.

Finally, after placing the batteries in the device, stand in the middle of the ceiling. Drill two holes (the most complex step), place the dowels, and screw the detector. For all practical purposes, then test the alarm of the detector. Read also
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