Buying guide: how to choose a smoke alarm

How to choose a smoke alarm. Image Credit: Shutterstock / ChameleonsEye

Since March 8, 2015, smoke detectors have been mandatory in our interiors. They are supposed to alert us if a fire breaks out, if we are sleeping or if we are in an opposite room. They have become indispensable. But how do you choose a smoke detector?

Should you choose a model that is paired with a carbon monoxide detector? A connected model? What standards apply to a compliant smoke detector? Sometimes the most demanding or expensive devices are not the best … We explain everything to you!

Who should install a smoke alarm?

Depending on your residential status, there are several scenarios.

So, of course, if you are a owner-occupier, you will have to install the detector yourself. If you are not the owner and the rental agreement was signed before March 9, 2015, the smoke alarm is the responsibility of the renter. However, the owner can reimburse the detector or provide it himself. However, if the lease ends after March 9, 2015, the smoke alarm is the responsibility of the vacant owner. (Source public service)

Please note, however, that the insurance company cannot refuse to accept a fire without a smoke detector.

What are the standards for a smoke alarm?

The CE marking is not necessarily a guarantee of conformity. You should know that this designation is obtained on a declaration from the manufacturer. On the other hand, the European standard EN 14 604 is tested at the factory. This also includes the validation of the detector by an independent laboratory. It is therefore necessary to refer to the EN 14604 standard.

The European standard EN 14 604 has been tested at the factory. Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Phonlamai Photo

What price for a smoke detector?

As with every product, the prices for smoke detectors vary from single to double … If detectors below 10 € are not recommended, they do not apply above 50 €! And even less connected! Better to choose a lithium battery detector (which must be recycled) than a detector for charging. The life of a lithium battery is 10 years and the detector will notify you when it needs to be changed. Specifically, a price of € 30 for a classic smoke detector seems appropriate!

Please note that a smoke alarm is not a carbon monoxide alarm. The two detectors have very different functions. It is better to choose both independently than a single device with both functions … the reliability gets even better!

Where should the smoke detector be installed?

The law requires one smoke detector per floor … In large rooms, even on the same floor, it is advisable to install a smoke detector in a hallway or near each bedroom. The golden rule is to install them on the ceiling and not hide them behind everything … They are not always very aesthetic, but hiding them would not reduce their effectiveness to anything!