Smoke detectors in private homes: what does the new regulation say?

Most German states have meanwhile issued a regulation that makes smoke detectors mandatory in rented apartments and condominiums. What do the individual legal regulations state - and which deadlines are there?

Each federal state regulates the legal basis for the smoke detector obligation itself, therefore there are some deviations depending on the region. Basically, however, that smoke detectors must be installed in both rented and condominiums.

  • In most federal states, the owner of the respective apartment is responsible for the installation, even for rental properties. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the owner (tenant) must attach the smoke detectors.
  • According to the statutory regulation, maintenance is either the responsibility of the owner or the user, which also varies from one state to another.
  • The basic obligation to smoke detectors applies to all new and renovated buildings since a specified date. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the deadline was set for 2003, in Bavaria for 2013.
  • Older apartments have a special retrofit obligation, which is between the year 2014 (Baden-Württemberg) and the year 2018 (Thuringia).
  • Certain premises must be equipped according to federal regulations in any case with a smoke detector, this includes all bedrooms, children's rooms and corridors and escape routes from lounges.

Who pays the smoke detectors and their maintenance?

The owner of each apartment usually bears the cost of purchasing the smoke detector. Only in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the tenant buys the equipment, but may also take them on moving in the new apartment.

Smoke detectors do not cost a lot, cheap devices are already available for a price between 3 and 5 EUR to buy. Of course you can also buy a high quality detector from 10 EUR upwards.

Tips for the assembly

Install your smoke detector on the ceiling, never on the wall. Smoke always rises. Choose a space in the center of the room, always at least 50 cm from the nearest wall or a tall piece of furniture.

For pitched ceilings, do not install the smoke detector at the top of the ceiling, but on the slope, about 50 to 100 cm from the top edge. In the upper area can form air cushions that block the smoke.

Tips & Tricks

Landlords may usually transfer the incurred maintenance costs to the tenants to the tenants. For safety, inquire again with a financial expert!

Video Board: P.I. Plug's Smoke Alarm Safety Video