Smoke detector comparison 2018

Purchase advice on the smoke detector comparison or test 2018

  • In order not to be surprised by the fire in the nocturnal slumber, a smoke detector can provide decisive assistance.
  • These devices detect the smoke concentration in the room air using an optical sensor and sound a specific threshold alarm.
  • From January 2017, the installation of a smoke detector in all provinces is mandatory, if it is a new building. For old buildings, retrofitting periods apply.

Smoke detector comparison 2018: 2018

In most federal states it is already obligatory: The smoke detectorwho in an emergency should warn house residents and possibly neighbors of fire. Most common devices are so-called photoelectric smoke detectors. They sound an alarm when there are smoke particles in the air. These scatter the light beam, which is emitted by a light-emitting diode inside the smoke detector. As a result, the light beam hits the test diode, whereby the alarm signal is triggered. Most devices in our smoke detector test are strictly considered as Smoke detectors to call. They are subject to the European standard 14604, which i.a. Contains regulations about the volume of the beep.

In our smoke detector test you will receive useful information about the function of smoke detectors and about the different ones types, In addition, we give you a buying guide for finding the best smoke detector.

1. How does a smoke detector work?

It is one of the worst nightmares of many people: While you indulge in his well-deserved sleep in bed, the last, not quite expressed cigarette falls from the ashtray on the new wool rug and set this on fire; instead of getting up the next day recovering, you stay in the worst case due to being deadlie, In the less violent horror scenario you wake up, at least in a burnt out apartment.

In order to avoid these horrible scenes, smoke detectors (also called smoke detectors or fire alarms) have started. These devices are usually installed in living rooms on the ceiling and identify smoke particles in the air. If smoke particles are detected, the smoke detector triggers a shrill alarm sound, which is intended to wake the residents. The placement on the ceiling results from the physical property of smoke rising upwards.

The simple design of an optical smoke detector looks like this:

Smoke detector comparison 2018: smoke

Inside the housing is the so-called optical chamber, which is not airtight and thus houses indoor air. This chamber is equipped with a "labyrinth", which is usually designed as an angle of non-light-reflecting material (often: black plastic).

This labyrinth prevents reflection of light within the optical chamber. This is necessary because the smoke detector triggers when a beam of light hits the test diode in the chamber. The optical smoke detectors use the so-called Scattered light effect (also called after its discoverer Tyndall effect). This describes the scattering of light on small airborne particles in the air, as it u.a. is known by sunlight in the mist.

The optical smoke detectors take advantage of the effect that a light emitting diode emits a (mostly infrared) light beam, which in clear air not at Smoke particles in the air, however, reflected or scattered and hits the test diode, which triggers the alarm when a specified threshold is exceeded.

Many smoke detectors are equipped with replaceable batteries. However, there are also smoke detectors 10-year battery, These models reduce the cost of maintenance.

2. Smoke detectors, flame detectors, ionisation smoke detectors - these types of smoke detectors are available

2.1. Optical smoke detector

Optical smoke detectors are particularly well suited to smoldering to recognize. This incomplete combustion at low temperatures produces large particles of smoke that break the infrared beam and are therefore very easy to detect. A laser smoke detector works with brighter light, which means that scatters are detected by smaller particles.

Optical smoke detectors find particularly in Households Application, because in these contexts especially with cold smoke at the outbreak of a fire is expected.

Danger: Due to the functional principle of smoke detectors, false alarms can occur when light is scattered by factors other than smoke. This can u.a. be the case with cigarette smoke and water vapor. Especially for the latter reason, smoke detectors should not be installed in damp rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms.

2.2. Ionisation

Smoke detector comparison 2018: comparison

Recognizing a fire in time is the goal of flames. and smoke detectors.

Before the LED technology came out of its infancy, were Ionisation the common standard among residential fire monitoring methods. In the chamber, the air is ionized, which is achieved with the help of radioactive elements. The conductivity of this air is then measured by electrodes in the chamber.

With unpolluted air, the electrodes can measure a steady current. If the air is contaminated by smoke particles, the sinks Conductivity of the air, Thus it can be concluded that the smoke concentration in the air.

In many ionization smoke detectors is with two chambers worked, a closed, in which smoke is difficult to penetrate, and an open. The measured values ​​of the two chambers are compared during operation, so that no false alarms due to changes in humidity or similar. to be triggered.

A big problem with Ionisationsstrahlern is the fact that they with radioactive material work. Although the radiation is not threatening in the current devices for people who are in a room with the detectors, as long as the radioactive materials are well shielded. However, corrosion can cause the material to escape. Then they are serious Damage to the organism residents, especially if the radioactive material is inhaled. In addition, the rules for handling radioactivity have tightened. Every ionization smoke detector must be disposed of via special waste, which leads to considerable additional costs for disposal.

Ionization detectors are particularly suitable for detecting fires with small smoke particles. These are usually provided with large flames, but also contains diesel soot comparatively small smoke particles.

Do not worry: Ionisation detectors are no longer used in living rooms today. Our smoke detector test does not find any of the potentially dangerous devices.

2.3. flame detectors

In contrast to other variants of fire detection technology, flame detectors do not work with the scattered light effect, but work with them optical sensorswhich recognize the characteristic spectrum of fires. This is usually in the range of infrared to ultraviolet.

To trigger, these detectors not only need the appropriate color rangebut also the typical one flicker, the brightness changewhen a fire prevails. This reduces false alarms to a minimum. Flame detectors are often used in production halls or similar. used to detect fires.

2.4. Further fire detector types


Besides these explicit detectors, there are also so-called Multiple sensor detector, which unite not only one but several methods of fire detection in their housing. These are interconnected according to the fuzzy logic commonly used in electrical engineering. This method makes it possible to mathematically describe values ​​between true and false. Due to the combination of measuring methods, false alarms hardly occur with these devices.

In addition to the classic smoke detectors, there are other types that can be used to detect fires.

Linear smoke detector Working on a similar system as a photoelectric switch: An infrared beam is sent from a diode to a receiver. If this beam is weaker due to smoke, the alarm starts. This technique is also used mostly in factories.

In addition to smoke detectors are also heat detector widespread. These measure, as the name suggests, not the concentration of smoke particles, but the temperature. If the temperature exceeds a certain level or rises faster than average over a period of time, these devices will sound an alarm. The advantage over smoke detectors is that they are also in Areas used with much stray light (such as in kitchens or workshops where the air is contaminated by steam or diesel, leading to false alarms in smoke detectors).

3. Purchase criteria for smoke detectors: You must pay attention to this

3.1. functionality

The most important criterion for selecting a smoke detector is the type of function. While optical smoke detectors for living spaces can be used Thermal detectors for damp rooms suitable.

Did you know? Most smoke detectors, which are installed on the basis of the respective state building regulations, are optical (photoelectric) smoke detectors.

3.2. Test functions

In order to ensure the functionality of the fire detector, possibilities should be built in to make it possible proper function sure. The common manipulations to realize this are:

  • optical display
  • acoustic signal

While the optical display Mostly as an LED is running, which lights up at intervals, the acoustic signal sounds usually when the battery charge is low. However, if the persons for whom this information is important miss that signal (due to vacation or other civility), it may be interpreted as a false alarm.

3.3. Networkable smoke detector

Smoke detector comparison 2018: smoke

A smoke detector for integration into a smart home system.

The ability to network the smoke detector with others, is becoming increasingly important, especially for large objects. Many manufacturers offer therefore wireless smoke detector who network with each other. Then, when one of the connected devices sounds an alarm, the others do the same. Thus, e.g. in an apartment building with several floors, it is ensured that all areas of the object are warned with an alarm signal.

In the course of the Smart Home Trends There are now more and more WLAN smoke detectors. These can not only communicate with each other, but also send messages to the user, e.g. when a fire is detected. Users can then be informed by SMS, for example. In this way, it is also possible to ensure that appropriate measures can be taken in the event of non-local existence.

  • Smoke detection triggers alarms on all detectors
  • increased security
  • also in Smart Home
  • increased maintenance

3.4. battery

Most models of smoke detectors are now with10-year batteries fitted. These consist of lithium cells and ensure a longevity that corresponds to that of the sensors. This saves the user or the owner of the property maintenance costs when the smoke detector reports an empty battery and this must be replaced. In addition, the cost over the entire term is usually lower than in models with 9-volt block battery.

4. Care and cleaning tips

Smoke detector comparison 2018: smoke

A compressed air spray.

The Sensitivity of the sensors in optical smoke detectors decreases with increasing life of the device. However, to ensure trouble-free operation, you should regularly maintain your smoke detector test winner.

However, refrain from opening the case and cleaning the sensor yourself. Such interventions can impair the functionality of the smoke detector.

The manufacturers recommend to remove dirt on the sensorscleaning spray, This works on the basis of compressed air, with the help u.a. Dust particles can be removed.

Thus, a malfunction in the later device life can be avoided. The cleaning of the smoke detectors should be done once a year, together with the functional test.

Please note: Some factors favor the pollution of the sensors. Thus, e.g. Cigarette smoke contribute to the fact that the function of the smoke detector is limited.

5. Smoke detector obligation in Germany

The Rauchmelderpfllicht is a controversial law, because above all a lobbying association made up of insurance companies and smoke alarm manufacturers for such a law.

In addition, deaths from fires had fallen since the 1980s, even without smoke detectors. Its taken in almost 2018 in every state to find corresponding regulations in the building code. Rhineland-Palatinate started in 2003. The last federal state to introduce a smoke alarm is Berlin. Here it comes into force on 1 January 2017.

Most countries - except Saxony - also have one retrofit deadline established. This marks a date by which the owners of the property have time to install smoke detectors. The following table shows you an overview of the federal states, the time of the introduction of the smoke detector directive and the expiry of the retrofitting period.

stateintroductionretrofit deadline
Baden-WurttembergJuly 23, 2013December 31, 2014
BavariaJanuary 1, 2013December 31, 2017
BerlinJanuary 1st, 2017December 31, 2020
BrandenburgJune 1, 2016December 31, 2020
BremenMay 1, 2010December 31, 2015
HamburgApril 1, 2006December 31, 2010
HesseJune 24, 2005December 31, 2014
Mecklenburg-VorpommernSeptember 1, 2006December 31, 2009
Lower SaxonyApril 13, 2012December 31, 2015
North Rhine-WestphaliaApril 1, 2013December 31, 2016
Rheinland-PfalzDecember 31, 2003July 13, 2012
SaarlandJune 1, 2004December 31, 2016
SaxonyJanuary 1, 2016none
Saxony-AnhaltDecember 22, 2009December 31, 2015
Schleswig-HolsteinApril 1, 2005December 31, 2010
ThuringiaMay 1, 2004December 31, 2018

6. Smoke alarm at Stiftung Warentest

Also Germany's most famous foundation last dealt with the topic of smoke detectors in January 2016. She came to the conclusion that most models, e.g. Abus smoke detectors, Flammex smoke detectors or Hekatron smoke detectors, work reliably. A product in the test, a Merten smoke detector, failed in the fire test and was rated "poor". The complete test of Stiftung Warentest can be found on their homepage.

7. Questions and answers about smoke detectors

7.1. How can you turn off a smoke detector?

In case of a false alarm, the possibility should exist of the smoke alarm to mute manually, For devices with replaceable batteries, the simplest option is to remove and reinsert the battery. For smoke detector with 10-year battery you should consult the instruction manual. Most of these are muted via a switch.

7.2. How long do smoke detectors last?

The smoke detectors with 10-year battery last as long. The reason lies in the fact that the batteries in such devices firmly installed are and can not be exchanged. Once the battery is empty, a new smoke detector must be forthcoming.

However, the lifespan even with devices with replaceable battery rarely the 10-year mark. This is due to the built-in sensors - these become less sensitive over time and can no longer perform their task accordingly.

7.3. How many smoke detectors are required?

In addition, the individual building regulations of the federal states are to be consulted. Prescribed smoke detectors are usually in Bedrooms and escape routes, A rule of thumb Says that a smoke detector per 100 square meters is a good guideline to ensure a comprehensive fire prevention or a nationwide fire alarm system.

7.4. Who pays the smoke detector?

The owner has to implement the regulations and therefore has to bear the costs of the smoke detector. However, the tenant may be responsible for maintenance.

7.5. Where should I install the smoke detector?

As smoke rises, smoke detectors are on the ceiling to install from rooms, preferably in the center of the room. The design of smoke detectors is designed to be mounted horizontally. Do not install smoke detectors in the bathroom or kitchen. Hairspray and water vapor can cause malfunction.

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Video Board: BEST 7: Smoke Alarms 2018