Smoke detector obligation

The smoke detector obligation applies only to private living space. However, there are some exceptions according to LBO.

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13 May 2022 Fire Safety

In Germany, there is a smoke detector obligation for private housing in all federal states. This means that smoke detectors must be installed and maintained in new, converted and existing buildings throughout Germany. One exception is the state of Saxony, where smoke detectors are only mandatory in new buildings and conversions.

Where do you need smoke detectors?

Smoke detectors are required in private living spaces in all German states. This applies to both owner-occupied property and rented apartments and houses. The owner or landlord must therefore install smoke detectors in apartments or houses and test them regularly.

In principle, smoke detectors must be installed in bedrooms, children's rooms and in hallways that function as escape routes.

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Smoke detector duty in detail

Smoke detector regulations are laid down in the state building codes (LBO) of the sixteen federal states. Thus, the responsibility for checking smoke detectors or the specifications of the smoke detector obligation for certain rooms is handled differently. For example, in Brandenburg and Berlin, smoke detectors are also mandatory for common rooms such as living rooms.

In contrast, in Baden-Württemberg smoke detectors must also be installed in rooms and their escape routes that are regularly used for overnight accommodation. This special regulation applies, for example, to hotels, inns, hospitals or retirement homes.

The rules for smoke detector maintenance can be found here!

Smoke detector regulations

per province

Smoke detector obligation Baden-Württemberg

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: July 10, 2013
  • Existing buildings: December 31, 2014
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: all rooms with an overnight purpose and corridors that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies residential space itself.

Smoke detector obligation Bavaria

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: 01 January 2013
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2017
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes.
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Berlin

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: 01 January 2017
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2020
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: all common rooms and corridors that serve as escape routes (exception: kitchen)
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space himself/herself.

Smoke detector obligation Brandenburg

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: 01 July 2016
    Existing buildings: 01 January 2021
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: all common rooms and corridors that serve as escape routes (exception: kitchen)
  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied living space).

Smoke detector obligation Bremen

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: May 01, 2010
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2015
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied housing)

Smoke detector obligation Hamburg

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: April 01, 2006
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2010
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms and hallways that serve as escape routes.
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Hesse

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: June 21, 2005.
    Existing buildings: Dec. 31, 2019 (for retrofit addition of smoke detectors in occupied rooms)
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, recreation rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: September 01, 2006
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2009
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms and hallways that serve as escape routes.
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Lower Saxony

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: April 04, 2012
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2015
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: 01.04.2013
    Existing buildings: 31.12.2016
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms and hallways that serve as escape routes.
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space himself. Since 01.01.2019, the owner may also be responsible for the maintenance of smoke detectors in rented premises.

Smoke detector obligation Rhineland-Palatinate

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and renovations: December 23, 2003
    Existing buildings: July 12, 2012

  • Installation by: Owner

  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes

  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied housing).

Smoke detector obligation Saarlandv

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: June 01, 2004
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2016
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied housing).

Smoke detector obligation Saxony

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: 01 January 2016
    Existing buildings: in planning for 2024
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: all rooms with overnight accommodation purpose and corridors serving as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Saxony-Anhalt

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: December 17, 2009
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2015
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied housing)

Smoke detector obligation Schleswig-Holstein

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and conversions: April 01, 2005
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2010
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Tenant or owner, if owner occupies living space itself

Smoke detector obligation Thuringia

  • Deadlines for installation:
    New buildings and renovations: February 29, 2008
    Existing buildings: December 31, 2018
  • Installation by: Owner
  • Installation in: Bedrooms, children's rooms, and hallways that serve as escape routes
  • Maintenance by: Owner (for rented and owner-occupied housing)

Smoke detector obligation in commercial premises

Currently, there is no smoke detector obligation in Germany in commercial premises or at the workplace. The reason for this is that smoke detectors are primarily intended to warn sleeping persons of highly toxic smoke in the event of a fire. Thus, the legislator assumes that a fire at the workplace can be detected in time, since commercial premises are usually not used for overnight purposes.

The state building code in Baden-Württemberg is an exception. This requires smoke detectors in all rooms with regular overnight stays. Consequently, in Baden-Württemberg, smoke detectors are also mandatory in some areas such as hotels, clinics or care facilities.

Smoke detector in commercial buildings

However, smoke detectors are also recommended in commercial settings to provide employees with timely warning in the event of an emergency and to allow for escape. Employers should install smoke detectors in their businesses to protect employees, even though there is currently no smoke detector requirement for commercial businesses. The risk assessment can be used as the basis for smoke detector installation requirements.

CWS technical experts will be happy to advise you on the risk assessment and the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors. Contact us now.

 

Do you still have questions about the smoke detector obligation?

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