As of March 8 2015, the law requires that all homes in France must have at least one functioning smoke detector installed.
Smoke Detector Law France
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure this is done, so if you’re renting to someone, you need to make sure that a working, compliant smoke detector is installed. The tenant takes responsibility for maintenance and repair. You might not be covered by insurance if a fire breaks out and you don’t have a detector.
To be compliant basically means your smoke detector must be loud enough to wake sleeping occupants and must continue to function if there is an electrical power outage e.g. it has to run on batteries.
Despite some claims, there is no legal requirement for the smoke detector to be fitted by an electrician and there is no requirement to have the device checked and approved. We’ve heard tales of people receiving visitors from “inspectors” who want to be paid to carry out a check – it’s a scam.
In the case of rented properties, the law says that a landlord is responsible for buying the smoke alarm, or should reimburse the cost of purchase to the tenant. Long-term tenants are responsible for the upkeep of alarms, including renewing batteries. For holiday or short-term rentals, this responsibility falls to the owners not to the holiday makers in the rented accommodation so make sure you, or your rental manager adds to the list of to-dos to conduct a regular precautionary check.
Householders may also wish to inform their insurers that a smoke alarm has been installed. A brief letter, stating your policy number and address, confirming that you have fitted a smoke alarm should be enough to ensure any claims for fire damage are dealt with relatively quickly and easily. Ask the company to confirm receipt and that they accept the information or if they require more detail to let you know.
Any smoke detector fitted in a home in France must meet the following standards:
Alarms have to meet the EN 14604 European standard and carry the CE logo or the NF EN 14604 equivalent. It must display a power indicator and have a “test” button
The unit should be powered by batteries, with a minimum operating time of one year, or come with an AC-power cable
The unit must emit a visual or audible signal indicating low battery levels. The error signal must be different to the alarm signal
When smoke is detected, the unit must emit an audible alarm of at least 85dB audible at a distance of three metres
The following information must be indelibly marked on the unit: the brand name, address of the manufacturer or supplier number, date of the standard that the detector complies with, manufacturing date or batch number and type of battery to use
The unit should be supplied with instructions for installation, maintenance and control of the sensor and the model certificate that the occupant must provide an insurer in case of a claim for damage caused by fire.
Beware salesmen who call at the door claiming to be registered sellers of smoke detectors, there is no such thing as an “official” door to door sales man for these goods.