Important information about the smoke detector requirement in Schleswig-Holstein


At the beginning of 2005, the obligation to smoke detectors was introduced in Schleswig-Holstein; it applies to all apartments in the federal state. The law is designed to save lives, but it also carries some responsibilities, especially for owners and tenants.

For which apartments is the smoke detector mandatory in Schleswig-Holstein?

From the date of the law's decree, January 1, 2005, the smoke detector requirement applies in all new buildings and conversions. Six years later, on December 31, 2010, all existing buildings had to be retrofitted with smoke detectors.

The relevant law can be found in the Schleswig-Holstein state building code (BauO S-H), under § 49 (4). Interested parties will also find further details on the obligation to smoke detectors, which we would like to explain below.

Which rooms need a smoke detector?

The Schleswig-Holstein state building regulations stipulate that at least one smoke detector must be installed in every child's room, every bedroom and in all corridors that serve as an escape route in case of fire. This applies both to rented apartments and for premises used by the owner.

Who needs to install and maintain the smoke detectors?

In Schleswig-Holstein, the respective owners of an apartment are responsible for buying the legally required smoke detectors, install and ensure their operational readiness. A homeowner is the person who directly owns the property, namely the actual user.

In the case of rental properties, therefore, the tenants have a duty; for self-occupied condominiums, the owners residing there. However, landlords may make the decision to install the smoke detectors in their rental apartments themselves and also to take over the maintenance.

If the landlord uses a specialist for annual maintenance, he has the right to set the resulting costs on the service charge settlement. However, any non-specialist may take over the maintenance work: If tenants or landlords themselves lend a hand, costs are avoided.

Tips & Tricks

If you care about increased safety then install smoke detectors in the living room, in the basement and in any office, even if this is not mandatory. In the bathroom, water vapors often trigger a false alarm, where a smoke detector makes little sense.


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