Mandatory installation of smoke detectors in residential areas

FRANCE – Smoke detectors must be installed and maintained in flats and houses before 9th March 2015 (and therefore no later than 8th March 2015). This obligation, which is not subject to any direct penalty for non-compliance, results from Articles L. 129-8 and L. 129-9 of the Construction and Housing Code created by Law No. 2010 -238 of 9th March 2010 and amended by Law No. 2014-366 of 24th March 2014 which is known as the ALUR Act.

Responsibility for the installation of a standard smoke detector lies with the owner while the responsibility for maintenance is the responsibility of the property occupier – whether tenant or owner. In some cases defined in Article R. 129-13 of the Construction and Housing Code, these two responsibilities are borne by the owner (seasonal housing, home, hostel accommodation for social housing, furnished apartments…) or organizations adhering to the objectives laid out in the housing assistance policy.

In practical terms, the owner must install at least one standard smoke detector per residence and ensures that, if the property is leased, it is working at the time of the signing of the lease.

As for the occupier, they must ensure the maintenance and operation of the device and ensure its renewal, if necessary, while they are living in the residence. It is also their responsibility to notify the installation of the detector to the insurer with whom they have a contract guaranteeing fire damage, following the simple model provided by the decree of 5th February 2013.

The sensor should be powered by batteries or operate using the residential power supply, in this case it must be equipped with an emergency power supply capable of taking over in the event of an electrical malfunction.
It must also:
– Detect fumes from the start of a fire;
– Immediately issue an alarm loud enough to wake a sleeping person in the dwelling where the detection occurred.
More detailed characteristics of the detector are defined by the order of 5th February 2013.

The obligation defined above may be postponed to 1st January 2016, as an article in the bill for growth, activity and equal economic opportunities, providing that “the owners have signed a contract to purchase the detectors on 8th March 2015 by the latest are deemed to fulfill the obligation […] provided that the smoke detector is installed before 1 January 2016 “.