Fire alarm

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When fire alarm technical are devices or systems to trigger an alarm in case of fire in homes , public facilities, transport or industrial plants referred. In the 19th century, the term fire telegraph was used to refer to various electrical, mechanical, and acoustic devices. Fire detectors are differentiated between automatic fire detectors, which recognize the fire based on physical properties, and non-automatic fire detectors, which have to be operated manually. The purpose of the fire alarm is to warn and wake up people within a building, to initiate fire-fighting measures and to protect property and people, usually to alert the responsible security staff or the fire brigade . Fire alarms are often used in conjunction with a fire alarm system. In Germany , fire alarm systems in accordance with DIN 14675 and the technical connection requirements for fire alarm systems (TAB) must be created, planned and installed by the individual districts or under the direction of the local fire brigade. In Austria the TRVB 114 and 123 are decisive. Different building regulations may apply locally or regionally .

Automatic fire alarms

Automatic fire detector with connection to a fire alarm system , here: detector 2 in zone 7

Automatic fire detectors can give early warning of fires in the development phase. If there is a fire, flue gas ignition , also known as rollover , can occur after three to four minutes and thus cause an extreme spread of the fire. Numerous videos about the temporal drama of an incipient fire are available on the Internet under the keywords “Fire experiment in children's room” or “Room flashover videos”.

An early alarm by an automatic fire detector is therefore not only useful in buildings that are complex to evacuate, such as hotels, single-family houses with many children, retirement homes, but also in every apartment.

Fire gas or smoke gas detector

A fire gas or smoke gas detector sounds an alarm if the concentration of carbon monoxide , carbon dioxide or other combustion gases in a room exceeds a certain value and there is thus a risk of fire or smoke poisoning . They can also be used in warm, dusty or smoky rooms where heat detectors and smoke alarms fail.

A carbon monoxide detector is used, for example, to monitor the CO concentration in a room with a fireplace and thus to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Heat detector

Heat detectors , also known as heat detectors , sound an alarm if the room temperature exceeds a certain maximum value (approx. 60 ° C) or the temperature rises above average (thermal differential evaluation). However, the current standard no longer distinguishes between maximum thermal detectors and differential thermal detectors, as each differential detector has a maximum value. Thermistors are often used to measure temperature .

Heat detectors are used particularly often in smoky or dusty (but normal temperature) rooms in which smoke alarm devices fail, for example in workshops or kitchens. They are cheaper, but react more slowly than smoke alarms or fire gas alarms .

Heat detectors are mainly used for property protection (department stores, factories, offices). For example, sprinkler systems are activated by an increase in temperature. They are less suitable for personal protection, as a wakeful person can recognize the fire much earlier. A sleeping person, on the other hand, would suffocate from fire gases before the heat detector could detect an increase in temperature.

In Germany they are divided into three classes according to the VdS guideline 2095.

  • Class 1 - use up to a room height of 7.5 m.
  • Class 2 - use up to a room height of 6.0 m.
  • Class 3 - use up to a room height of 4.5 m.

smoke detector

Optical and photoelectric smoke detectors

Photo for photo above:
1: Infrared LED
2: Black scattered light chamber (open)
3: Pink photodiode
: beam paths

The most common fire alarms today are optical or photoelectric smoke alarms . They work according to the scattered light method ( Tyndall effect ). Clear air reflects practically no light. However, if there are smoke particles in the air and thus in the optical chamber , a light beam emitted by an infrared LED (1) is scattered on the smoke particles . Part of this scattered light then falls on a light-sensitive sensor ( photodiode , 3) which is not directly illuminated by the light beam, and the smoke detector responds. Without (smoke) particles in the air, the light beam cannot reach the photodiode. The illumination of the sensor by light from the light-emitting diode reflected from the housing walls or external light penetrating from outside is prevented by the labyrinth made of black, non-reflective material (2).

In the case of a laser detector , a very bright laser diode is used instead of a simple light-emitting diode (LED) . This system recognizes even the smallest of particles.

Ionization smoke detector

In the normal state, the alpha rays of the radioactive source (mostly 241 Am ) produce in ions . This allows a current to flow between two charged metal plates. When smoke particles get between the plates, they trap some of the ions, reducing the conductivity of the air and thus reducing the current. The detector sounds the alarm.

Because of the radioactivity , ionization smoke detectors are only used in special cases because the requirements are strict. The hazard potential of an individual detector is low when used and disposed of as intended.

Ionization smoke detectors are most widespread in Anglo-America , where they can be disposed of with household waste.

Comparison of optical and ionization smoke detectors

Ionization smoke detectors can detect practically invisible, i.e. hardly reflecting, smoke particles, such as those that occur primarily in flaming fires , but also in diesel soot . In contrast to this, optical smoke detectors are better suited for the early detection of smoldering fires with relatively large, light and cold smoke particles. The detection behavior of both detector types therefore complements each other. A clear advantage in terms of security against false alarms (from water vapor , kitchen fumes, cigarette smoke) cannot be identified for any of these detector types.

For use as a smoke alarm device in bedrooms and children's rooms, in which smoldering fires that are more likely to spread slowly, an optical smoke alarm is preferable. A common cause of fire is, for example, the smoker falling asleep in bed .

Flame detector

UV flame detector in industrial design

A flame detector recognizes the characteristic light of a flame in the spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet . Often several sensors are combined in one housing and evaluated together to prevent false alarms (e.g. photo flash). These detectors only react when the flame radiation (IR, UV) is present on the one hand, and on the other hand to the typical “flicker frequency” of flames and embers.

They are used when a rapid development of naked flames is to be expected when a fire breaks out. They are particularly suitable at workplaces with operational smoke development because they do not alarm when smoke is generated.

Multiple sensor detectors

Multiple sensor detectors are fire detectors that work with several sensors. For detection, a detector can, for example, combine the detection system of an optical smoke detector and the detection system of a thermal detector in a single device. The events are evaluated with the aid of electronics ( fuzzy logic ). This combination makes such a detector less sensitive to false and false alarms.

Special reporter

Linear smoke alarms

A linear smoke detector consists of a transmitter unit and a receiver unit for infrared light, which is mounted on the wall under the ceiling. The detector reacts to a weakening of the light beam between the transmitter and receiver caused by smoke, similar to a light barrier .

Linear heat detectors

Linear heat detectors, which are mainly used to monitor tunnels or garages, are sensor cable detectors. A temperature increase is detected with the help of a sensor cable, depending on the heated cable length. A change in temperature results in a change in resistance between the connected loops within the sensor lines. When the temperature rises, the resistance ( thermistor ) falls . This difference is noticeable on the evaluation unit, which issues an alarm message at the preset alarm threshold. The sensor cable is shielded against mechanical and chemical influences as well as corrosion, moisture and dust.

Modern linear fire detectors work with the help of fiber optic cables and use the Raman effect for temperature measurement ( fiber optic temperature measurement ). The advantages of these systems are the long range (several kilometers with one evaluation unit), the high flexibility, security against false alarms and immunity to electrical interference fields.

Another type of heat measurement is done using sensor tubes that are filled with a gas or liquid and laid on the ceiling in the area to be monitored. If these pipes are heated by fire or the air heated by the fire, the fluid inside the pipe expands and the pressure increase is registered on a measuring device.

Aspirating smoke detector

False and false alarms

The fire brigade and local residents repeatedly have problems with false alarms. These can be caused by inadequate maintenance and poor positioning or setting of the detectors. False alarms can also indicate unusual activities in the vicinity of a detector. Examples are the operation of forklifts with internal combustion engines , but also the smoking of tobacco and the use of e-cigarettes under a detector. Other sources of error are steam (cooking, bathing, washing, ironing), hairspray and rosin fumes ( soldering ) as well as strong dust generation. One way of reducing false alarms is to use a pattern comparison of fire parameters or to choose a different type of detector, i.e. a fire gas or heat detector instead of a photoelectric smoke detector or vice versa.


For the maintenance of smoke detectors, test sprays and detector pickers are used, these are telescopic rods with handles that enable detectors in high ceilings to be opened and cleaned.

A test should not be carried out with cigarette smoke, as particles (e.g. tar and ash) contained in the smoke contaminate the sensors of the detector and thus render them unusable. A test with a lighter or matches should also be avoided, as the high temperatures can damage the smoke alarm device. Special spray bottles with test gas can be used for a more realistic test . Since the detectors only check for smoke at intervals to save electricity, the spray must last for a longer period of time, depending on the device.

Whoever has put detectors into operation ensures and proves that all detectors have been checked at least once a year. In Germany, quarterly inspections of the fire alarm control panel, detector groups and alarms by a specialist are also required. These must be carried out in accordance with the standards DIN 14675 and 14676 as well as DIN / VDE 0833 Part 1. In Germany, over 2130 companies are certified according to DIN 14675. The certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001 must be observed. In Austria the standards are similar, and the designs and tests must correspond to TRVB S123 03.


Automatic fire alarms

The fire alarm, invented and patented in 1894, with a bird in a cage, which functions similarly to canaries in a pit , can be seen as a curiosity , with the bird falling from the perch falling onto a plate and closing an electrical alarm circuit.

The first heat alarms existed around the turn of the century, ionization smoke alarms were invented in Switzerland and produced in large numbers from the 1950s, see ionization smoke alarms → history . Photoelectric smoke alarms were invented in the United States in 1972. Transistorization made small, battery-operated devices possible for all types of smoke alarms.

Non-automatic fire detectors

Fire telegraph

Fire telegraph in Wuppertal

The forerunners of the manual call points were the fire telegraphs. This technology, which is used in Hamburg and Kaiserslautern, among others, was produced by Siemens and Halske at the end of the 19th century . The system in Kaiserslautern was installed from 1887, initially only eleven industrial companies were connected to the system. Little by little, however, private households were equipped with this technology. In the reporting points there was a crank to trigger the alarm. Each reporting point had a different coding wheel, so it could be determined in the headquarters from which location the fire alarm came. As confirmation that the fire alarm had been triggered in the control center, an acoustic signal sounded at the reporting office. The fire bell was triggered automatically or manually from the control center. This sounded for the last time in Kaiserslautern in 1928.

In Düsseldorf, fire telegraphs were later also used as a means of communication for the emergency services. These were then equipped with a receiver and offered the opportunity to contact the control center directly, for example to send situation reports or additional requests from other staff. This was important in times when the fire brigade did not yet have radio. In the early days, communication was carried out using predefined codes, but later technology made it possible to have a normal conversation. The system was used in Düsseldorf until the 1950s.

Historical manual call point, first installed in Berlin around 1886 .

Manual call points

A manual fire alarm (formerly also a push-button alarm, renamed manual fire alarm in Germany by DIN 14675, in Austria by ÖNORM EN 54-11) is a non-automatic fire alarm painted in red. A pane of glass, which has to be smashed when in use, protects the button from the elements or accidental contact. The subsequent pressing of the button triggers an alarm in the fire alarm control panel . An activated manual call point can only be reset with a special tool. This is to prevent abuse , which is punishable by law. A special pictogram indicates the location of fire alarms in a fire protection plan.

Manual call points are available in a standardized explosion protection version.

According to the applicable standard EN 54-11, manual call points must be labeled with at least a "burning house" symbol and always in red (color RAL 3000) for newly built or modified systems since September 2008 . Other texts such as “fire brigade” or “fire alarm” may only be added to the symbol. The "burning house" symbol must not be covered by stickers. Manual call points, which are part of a fire alarm system required by building regulations, are considered a harmonized building product in Europe. This includes the systems that are not directly connected to the fire brigade. In these cases, the operator must use an alarm organization that is always available and described in the fire alarm concept to ensure that an intervention takes place promptly after a manual call point is activated (control of the triggering location, initiate extinguishing measures).

Alarm systems that serve purposes other than fire alarms have blue manual call points. Blue manual call points only issue an alarm in an object (house alarm) that does not trigger an alarm for the fire brigade or police. Gray, blue and white manual alarms trigger a smoke extraction system (only the color orange is permitted for this from the 2010s). According to DIN 14675-1, yellow manual call points are intended for manual fire-fighting equipment (e.g. CO 2 extinguishing system ). They can also be used to manually switch off air conditioning, ventilation, triggering a smoke vent or triggering door closings (green alarms). The countries have different regulations here. VdS 2095 and DIN VDE 0833-2 make precise specifications for the location and arrangement of manual call points in Section 6.2.6.

Public fire alarms also existed before the end of the 20th century . These were manual call points that were attached to fire stations and in public places in massive housings similar to an emergency telephone . A special form are detectors that trigger a siren directly . In the age of cell phones , they are used less and less and can still be found quite often in rural areas.

Smoke alarm device

Optical smoke alarm device, mounted on the ceiling

Smoke alarms have a siren and, if necessary, additional signal devices installed. Colloquially, the term “smoke alarm” has established itself. They are intended for residential buildings, apartments and rooms with similar use. In addition to smoke alarms, there are heat detectors, modern devices combine both detection methods and thus also protect forms of fire with little or no smoke development in compliance with the standard.

The harmonized European standard (DIN) EN 14604 specifies requirements, test methods and assembly techniques for smoke alarm devices. In Germany, DIN 14676 also applies, which, in contrast to EN 14604, does not deal with assembly, but for example with the coupling of several smoke alarm devices. According to this product standard, smoke alarm devices must have a few minimum performance features:

  • The sound pressure level of a smoke alarm device must be at least 85  dB (A) at a distance of 3 m. Attention is drawn to the possibility of hearing damage.
  • A warning signal must indicate at least 30 days in advance that the battery must be replaced.
  • A functional check of the detector must be possible, for example by means of a test button.
  • Smoke must be able to penetrate the smoke measuring chamber from all sides, the inlet openings of the smoke chamber must not be larger than 1.3 mm and must be protected against insects and contamination.

In addition, only smoke alarm devices with a CE mark and the number of the EU declaration of conformity may be sold in the EU .

Networked smoke alarms

There are smoke alarms that can be networked with each other via radio or cable. Then all detectors sound the alarm if a device detects smoke. In this way, you are warned if the alarm tone of the detector would otherwise not be heard - for example because the room concerned is on a different floor. However, the correct escape route must remain obvious.

The connection to the building technology (e.g. using the KNX system ) enables further actions to be triggered; The lighting in the escape route can be switched on, blinds opened or a notification sent by phone or SMS.

The above-mentioned standard EN 14604 does not permit home smoke detectors to be used as fire detectors on a fire alarm system. In contrast to fire alarms, which are supposed to report outbreaks of fire to the fire brigade via fire alarm systems, the home smoke alarms have the primary task of warning people in rooms of fires. Sleeping people are particularly at risk. The home smoke detectors therefore serve more to protect people than property.

Installation in living spaces

In Germany, the locations of the placement of smoke detectors in the apartments are for state building codes of the federal states governed on the basis of the application standard DIN 14676th On the one hand, corridors , provided it is an escape route. Otherwise, bedrooms and children 's rooms are mandatory rooms, as there is mainly at night the risk of not noticing a fire in time while sleeping. In multi-storey buildings, at least one smoke alarm device should be installed on each floor. Kitchens and bathrooms should be excluded as water vapors cause false alarms. Heat detectors can provide additional protection, but they trigger very late in the course of the fire compared to smoke alarms. They are therefore unsuitable for smoldering fires with very little heat generation.

Detectors that work with the detection of smoke should always be installed at the highest point in the room, as smoke rises upwards. When installing in a pointed roof space, the detector must not be attached to the topmost point (in the pointed roof), as the rising warm room air creates a so-called heat cushion that ensures that smoke never reaches the topmost point . According to DIN VDE 0833-2, from a certain room height, detectors are not to be "suspended" directly on the ceiling, but at a distance. If detectors are attached to a low roof beam, this should be between 30 cm and 50 cm lower than the highest point in the room. In this way, smoke can collect in sufficient concentration for reliable triggering. If the detector is installed on a sloping roof, in addition to the mounting height, it must be noted that the detector must be mounted horizontally. Otherwise there is a risk that the smoke will pull through the detector without triggering a response.

Painting the smoke detector can block the air inlet slots and prevent smoke from entering.

Battery operated smoke alarm devices use alkaline or lithium batteries due to their high capacity and long shelf life.

Problems with smoke alarms

In autumn 2004, ineffective smoke alarms were sold at Aldi , Praktiker and other stores at a price of three to four euros . Aldi Süd alone sold 370,000 such devices. It is assumed that a total of several million of these devices came onto the German market. All faulty detectors found up to the beginning of 2005 are stamped on the housing as the production date May 10, 2004. They were made in China and provided with forged test seals from Stiftung Warentest or the VdS .

Buyers of the plagiarism will probably not lose their fire insurance coverage because they acted in good faith . However, whether insurance companies can actually refuse or reduce an insurance benefit is controversial.

Smoke alarm compulsory

In the USA , around 93% of all households are equipped with around 120 million smoke alarms. Regulations have existed in numerous US states since the 1970s . In March 2010, the US Office of Compliance announced that since then the number of fire deaths has fallen by around 50%. In Canada , the Netherlands and parts of Australia there is also a statutory smoke alarm requirement.

In Great Britain , a statutory smoke alarm device was introduced in 1992, which requires at least one smoke alarm device per floor for all new buildings. In 1987 around 9% and in 1998 around 75% of UK households had detectors.


The lobby organization “Forum Fire Smoke Prevention” advocated mandatory smoke alarms, where manufacturers of smoke alarms and insurance companies have organized. The Federal Building Act (BBauG) does not contain any ordinances on the obligation to smoke alarms; this is the responsibility of the individual federal states.

Regulations in the federal states

Since the 2000s, the federal states have gradually included statutory regulations for the installation of smoke alarms in their building codes . The application standard DIN 14676 and the device standard DIN EN 14604 are binding in the respective state building regulations. The regulations read very similarly. In contrast, the legislative resolutions of the individual federal states were far apart in time. The times at which the implementation obligation begins for new buildings and the end of the retrofitting period for existing buildings are also far apart. It is also regulated differently at whose expense the maintenance and operational readiness check of the smoke alarm device takes place. Mostly this is the landlord, but in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein it is the tenant unless the landlord bears the costs voluntarily.

state State building regulations introduction

Smoke alarm


Retrofit deadline expires Subject Share in households (as of 2014)
Baden-Württemberg State building regulations for Baden-Württemberg,
Section 15 (7)
23rd July 2013 Dec 31, 2014 Certain common rooms and their escape routes for sleeping. 57%
Bavaria Bavarian Building Regulations
Art. 46 Paragraph 4
Jan. 1, 2013 December 31, 2017 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors to common rooms in apartments. 40%
Berlin Building regulations for Berlin (BauO Bln)
Art. 48 Para. 4
Jan. 1, 2017 Dec 31, 2020 Lounges (except kitchens) and corridors lead via the escape routes from lounges 7%
Brandenburg Brandenburg building regulations June 1, 2016 Dec 31, 2020 Lounges (except kitchens) and corridors lead via the escape routes from lounges 25%
Bremen Bremen State Building Regulations
Section 48 Paragraph 4
May 1, 2010 Dec 31, 2015 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 89%
Hamburg Hamburg Building Regulations,
Section 45, Paragraph 6
Apr 1, 2006 Dec 31, 2010 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 69%
Hesse Hessian building regulations
§ 14 Abs. 5
June 24, 2005 Dec 31, 2014 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 79%
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania State building code of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania,
Section 48, Paragraph 4
Sep 1 2006 Dec 31, 2009 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 85%
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony building regulations,
Section 44 (5)
Apr 13, 2012 Dec 31, 2015 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 65%
North Rhine-Westphalia Building regulations for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia,
Section 49 (7)
Apr 1, 2013 December 31, 2016 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 69%
Rhineland-Palatinate State building regulations of Rhineland-Palatinate,
Section 44, Paragraph 8
Dec 31, 2003 July 13, 2012 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 90%
Saarland State building regulations,
Section 46, Paragraph 4
June 1, 2004 December 31, 2016 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 59%
Saxony Saxon Building Regulations
Section 47 Paragraph 4
Jan. 1, 2016 - Certain common rooms and their escape routes for sleeping. 40%
Saxony-Anhalt Building Regulations of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
Section 47 Paragraph 4
Dec 22, 2009 Dec 31, 2015 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 60%
Schleswig-Holstein State building regulations for the State of Schleswig-Holstein,
Section 49, Paragraph 4
Apr 1, 2005 Dec 31, 2010 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 95%
Thuringia Thuringian Building Regulations
Section 48, Paragraph 4
May 1, 2004 December 31, 2018 Bedrooms, children's rooms, corridors as escape routes from common rooms in apartments. 31%

Rhineland-Palatinate was the first federal state to introduce such an obligation, the wording of which became the basis for most of the following regulations.

“In apartments, bedrooms and children's rooms as well as corridors through which escape routes lead from common rooms must each have at least one smoke alarm device. The smoke alarm devices must be installed and operated in such a way that fire smoke is detected and reported at an early stage. "

Rhineland-Palatinate set a retrofit deadline later than some other federal states. Schleswig-Holstein set the first retrofit deadline and also defined a division of responsibilities.

“The owners of existing apartments are obliged to equip each apartment with smoke alarms by December 31, 2010. Ensuring operational readiness is the responsibility of the direct owners, unless the owner assumes this obligation himself. "

In Baden-Württemberg, the late smoke alarm system was introduced shortly after a fire in Backnang in which a mother and seven children died.

There is also an obligation to retrofit smoke detectors in Saarland. The landlord has to take over the installation and the procurement, the tenant the annual inspection. The purchase price can be allocated to the rent.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is an exception to the responsibility for the installation, maintenance and operational readiness of the smoke alarm device. In this case, the state building code speaks of the owner instead of the owner. This difference only becomes relevant when the property is not used by the owner himself. In the case of rental apartments, the tenant is the immediate owner of the apartment from the moment the keys are handed over. This means that the operator is also responsible for purchasing, installing and maintaining the required smoke alarm devices and ensuring that they are always operational. As a result, the tenant can dismantle the devices he has purchased himself when moving out or moving.

In North Rhine-Westphalia there are also different installation and maintenance obligations. Maintenance is usually the responsibility of the tenant. Companies can carry out installation and maintenance for owners' associations and cooperative apartments.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided in 2015 that a tenant must allow the landlord to install smoke alarms. The BGH justified its judgment with the fact that the installation of smoke alarms is a structural change within the meaning of § 555b No. 4 and 5 BGB .

Assumption of costs for rented apartments

Except in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where the respective tenants are responsible for purchasing smoke alarm devices in rented rooms ( see above ), the costs for the purchase in all other federal states are generally to be borne by the owner first. However, the initial acquisition costs can be passed on to the tenants due to the increase in the security of the apartment in accordance with tenancy law ( Section 554 (2) and Section 559 BGB) through a proportional increase in the annual net rent without costs to a maximum of 11% of the investment costs . However, this regulation is only of practical relevance for existing old contracts and will therefore become less important in the future. In such cases, it is usually a monthly amount of less than one euro (arithmetically 1.00 euro rent increase per month with investment costs of 109 euros per apartment).

With regard to annual maintenance, it has so far been disputed whether the costs for this can be passed on to tenants via the operating cost accounting. The Dortmund Labor Court ruled that the leasing and rental costs are to be regarded as a purchase and are therefore just as non-apportionable as the acquisition costs themselves. The court also takes the view that maintenance costs can be passed on to a tenant if the parties have a have concluded a corresponding rental agreement. If the rental contract does not contain such an agreement, the tenant is responsible for the maintenance obligation, so that maintenance costs cannot be claimed by the landlord. There has already been a dispute several times over the question of whether any regular costs can be passed on to tenants if the smoke alarm device is not bought but rather rented by the owner, and if there is no clear regulation in the rental agreement . In the past, there were also different legal opinions among courts and various local courts ruled that rental costs were not allocable.

With the Magdeburg Regional Court, a regional court ruled for the first time in 2011 that not only the costs for maintenance, but also the costs of renting smoke alarms are part of the apportionable operating costs within the meaning of Section 2 No. 17 BetrkV . In its judgment issued on March 4, 2016, the Hagen district court took the view that although the maintenance costs for smoke alarms are apportionable operating costs, the costs for renting smoke alarms are not. The regional court admitted an appeal. Since then there has been no known higher-level judgment on this issue. With the conclusion of new rental contracts, in which the assumption of costs for maintenance is clearly regulated in the contract, the question will become less important in the future.

Success measurement

In Germany, without smoke alarms, the number of people who died in a fire fell by 43% between 1991 and 2003. The smoke alarm requirement has been criticized because it was enforced, although there was no statistical basis for an actual increase in safety through smoke alarms and the deaths fell continuously from around 800 in 1980 to below 400 in 2010, even without such a law.

German Smoke Detector Day

In order to promote sales and influence politics, various fire protection organizations have been proclaiming Friday the 13th to be smoke alarm day since 2006 . The day of action is supported by fire brigades, chimney sweeps , insurance companies and fire alarm manufacturers. Consumers are motivated to buy smoke alarms through campaigns and press releases and landlords and apartment owners are also targeted. On March 13, 2009, the smoke alarm day initiated by the Fire Smoke Prevention Forum in the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection (vfdb) and the German Fire Brigade Association took place. The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia produced a video film to point out the dangers of smoke gas in the home.

Smoke alarms are mandatory in Austria

state Come into effect
Burgenland January 8, 2013
Carinthia October 1, 2012
Lower Austria February 1, 2015
Upper Austria July, 1st 2013
Salzburg July 1, 2016
Styria January 1, 2013
Tyrol September 1st 2013
Vorarlberg January 1, 2013
Vienna January 1, 2013

In Austria, the OIB guideline 2 (mandatory as the current building code in most federal states) requires the installation of smoke alarms in living rooms of apartments (with the exception of kitchens).

In all federal states, these regulations only apply to new buildings. Only in Carinthia was there a transition period during which existing buildings also had to be retrofitted.

Smoke alarm devices in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

In Switzerland the installation of smoke detectors is not mandatory. However, some insurance companies offer discounts if a smoke alarm has been installed.

In Liechtenstein , the Office for Civil Protection recommends the use of smoke alarms.

Smoke alarm device in Luxembourg

Apart from public facilities such as children's homes, day-care centers and sports halls, there is no legal obligation to install smoke alarms in Luxembourg . Only around 10% of the apartments are equipped with smoke alarms. At the municipal level, however, a warning notification requirement can be set.

quality control

Like other fire detectors can also smoke detectors from VdS be tested and VdS get -Prüfzeichen. The list of all VdS-certified smoke alarm devices is freely accessible.

In Germany , smoke alarm devices must meet the criteria of the device standard DIN EN 14604. This is checked by technical testing organizations (e.g. TÜV Rheinland in cooperation with KRIWAN Testzentrum GmbH). Among other things, constant smoke detection and fire sensitivity are tested in four different test fires.

Consumers can also use the Q logo as a guide. This quality mark is a registered trademark of the association “Forum Brandrauchprävention e. V. ". It is intended to prove the safety, longevity and quality of smoke alarms and is awarded to devices that not only meet the mandatory product standard DIN EN 14604 and receive a CE mark from the manufacturer, but also the stricter guideline 14/01 of the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection (vfdb).

Smoke alarm device in the test

Stiftung Warentest regularly tests smoke detectors. In 2016, 20 smoke detectors with and without wireless networking were tested, only half achieved the test grade good. These are available from 20 euros and include a lithium battery for ten years. The FireAngel ST-630 detector from the manufacturer Sprue Aegis, imported by EPS Vertriebs GmbH, was noticeable in retrospect due to its very short battery life, caused by a production error.

The only wireless detector in the 2018 test failed because it didn't work in thick smoke, or it was much too late. Three wireless detectors from the previous tests for 65 euros were better.

Manufacturer in Europe

  • Hekatron produces exclusively in Sulzburg
  • Pyrexx produces in Germany
  • EI Electronics produces exclusively in Shannon (Ireland)


  • Max Huybensz: History and development of fire extinguishing in the city of Vienna: with special consideration of the current organization of the Vienna city fire brigade; with license to practice medicine from the mayor of the imperial capital Vienna; with a plan of the fire brigade division and the fire telegraph network etc. from Vienna / based on official sources. by Max Huybensz, Vienna [a. a.] 1879.
  • Wolfgang J. Friedl (Ed.): Minimizing false alarms - fire and burglar alarm systems - fire extinguishing systems . VDE Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-8007-1938-X .
  • Fritz J. Schmidhäusler: Early fire detection: procedures, techniques, alternatives . Modern industry, Landsberg / Lech 1994, ISBN 3-478-93101-0 .
  • Heinz Luck (Ed.): Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Automatic Fire Detection (AUBE'95) . Verlag Mainz, Aachen 1995, ISBN 3-930911-46-9 (English and German specialist articles).

Web links

Commons : Fire Alarms  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Fire alarms  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. DIN 14675: 2012-04 (D): Fire alarm systems - construction and operation (PDF).
  2. DIN: Overview of technical connection conditions for fire alarm systems from all over Germany
  3. Invisible Gas: Why Carbon Monoxide Is So Dangerous. Spiegel online, January 31, 2017, accessed January 31, 2017 .
  4. Everything about smoke alarms. In: do it yourself . June 14, 2012, accessed on April 10, 2020 (illustrated explanation of the individual components of a photoelectric smoke detector).
  5. EL Milarcik, SM Olenick, RJ Roby: A Relative Time Analysis of the Performance of Residential Smoke Detection Technologies , Fire Technology 44 (4), p. 337-349, 2008.
  6. ^ Robert William Jacob Kraus in New York a. John Koster of Brooklyn (N.-Y., V. St. A.): Patent 1894: Method and Apparatus for Providing a Signal Upon the Occurrence of Smoke or Hazardous Gases. (PDF) February 22, 1896, accessed April 17, 2020 .
  7. Nachguss from the year 2000, can be seen u. a. in Havelberg at the salt market
  8. Information from the “Fire alarm and fire alarm systems” working committee NA 031-02-01 of the FNFW of August 16, 2006 (PDF; 288 KB) German Institute for Standardization . Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  9. | wayback = 20140812205158 Questions and answers on the smoke alarm requirement ( memento of the original from August 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, accessed on August 12, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. Dangerous forgeries with a seal of approval at
  11. Udo Rosowski: Smoke alarm device in apartments: Legal consequences of the legal installation obligation in individual federal states with special consideration of apartments according to the Apartment Ownership Act (WEG) , Grin-Verlag 2009, ISBN 978-3-640-29517-3 .
  12. a b c ( Memento of the original from June 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved June 12, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Smoke detectors provide fast early warning of danger (PDF; 79 kB), United States Congress Office of Compliance, 2010.
  14. International comparison of smoke detector obligations ( Memento of August 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); in; Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  15. Reducing residential dire fatalaties ( Memento from February 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 207 kB) Killalea D, NFPA, 1999, p. 10.
  16. Share of households with smoke alarms in Germany by federal state in 2014 , accessed on March 11, 2015.
  17. a b c State building regulations for Baden-Württemberg (LBO) in the version of March 5, 2010 . juris . Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  18. Obligation to install smoke alarm devices . Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects. July 25, 2013. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013. Retrieved on November 17, 2013.
  19. a b c Bavarian Building Regulations (BayBO) in the version of the announcement of August 14, 2007 . Bavarian State Chancellery . Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  20. Law to change the Bavarian building regulations and the building chambers law . Bavarian State Chancellery. December 11, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  21. a b Third law amending the building regulations for Berlin (PDF) June 28, 2016 Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment - Supreme Building Supervision, PDF, accessed December 15, 2016
  22. Brandenburgische Bauordnung (BbgBO) (PDF; 300 kB) Ministry of Infrastructure and Agriculture. Archived from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  23. Law to amend the Brandenburg Building Regulations and to amend the State Immission Control Act (PDF) Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Brandenburg. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  24. a b c Law on the revision of the Bremen state building regulations and amendment of the Bremen engineering law of October 6, 2009 (PDF; 332 kB) The Senator for Environment, Building and Transport. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  25. Justification for the law on the revision of the Bremen State Building Regulations and amendment of the Bremen Engineering Act of October 6, 2009 (PDF; 734 kB) City of Bremerhaven . Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  26. a b c Hamburg Building Regulations (HBauO) of December 14, 2005 . December 14, 2005. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  27. Hamburg Building Regulations 2006 (PDF; 922 kB) Authority for Urban Development and Environment. April 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  28. a b c Hessian Building Regulations (HBO) in the version of May 28, 2018 . juris. Accessed May 31, 2020.
  29. Law to amend the Hessian building regulations (HBO) . In: Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Hesse . June 23, 2005 ( [accessed on January 13, 2020]).
  30. a b c d State building regulations Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (LBauO MV) . Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  31. Smoke alarm device . Hanseatic city of Wismar . Accessed on November 17, 2013: "since September 2006 a legal obligation"
  32. State Building Regulations Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (LBauO MV) . Publishing house CH Beck . Accessed on November 17, 2013: "Entry into force ... on September 1, 2006"
  33. a b c d Lower Saxony Building Regulations (NBauO) . In: Lower Saxony Regulations Information System . juris. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  34. a b c d building regulations for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities of North Rhine-Westphalia. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  35. a b Landesbauordnung Rheinland-Pfalz (LBauO) . juris. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  36. a b c Installation of smoke alarm devices . District administration Bernkastel-Wittlich . Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  37. Change documentation . Wolters Kluwer . Retrieved on November 17, 2013.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /
  38. a b State building regulations (LBO) (PDF; 427 kB) Saarland. December 11, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  39. State building regulations (LBO) (PDF; 385 kB) Saarland. May 19, 2004. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  40. a b c Building Regulations of the State of Saxony-Anhalt (BauO LSA) . juris. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  41. ^ Law to change the building regulations of the state of Saxony-Anhalt . In: Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Saxony-Anhalt . December 21, 2009, p. 717–719 ( PDF from the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt; 1.89 MB (PDF) [accessed on November 17, 2013]).
  42. a b c State building regulations for the state of Schleswig-Holstein (LBO) . juris. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  43. Law and Ordinance Gazette 2009 No. 2 . In: State Parliament Information System Schleswig-Holstein . Accessed on November 17, 2013: "Introduction of an obligation to install smoke alarm devices in apartments"
  44. a b State building regulations for the state of Schleswig-Holstein (LBO) . In: Law and Ordinance Gazette for Schleswig-Holstein 2009 . No. 2 , February 19, 2009, p. 6–47 ( PDF from the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia; 628 kB (PDF) [accessed on November 17, 2013]).
  45. a b c d Thuringian Building Regulations (ThürBO) . juris. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  46. Warning alarms must be installed in new buildings with immediate effect . Stuttgart news. 10th of July. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  47. Backnang: The harrowing details of the night of death . Hamburger Morgenpost . April 5, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  48. ^ "Rights and obligations for landlords in federal states with a legal obligation to install smoke alarms" on smoke alarms save lives ; Retrieved August 12, 2014
  49. Smoke detector requirement in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on ( Memento from August 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ); Retrieved August 12, 2014
  50. State building regulations of North Rhine-Westphalia, Section 49, Paragraph 7 , accessed on April 17, 2015.
  51. BGH, judgment of June 17, 2015, Az. VIII ZR 216/14, full text .
  52. BGH, press release No. 97/2015 of June 17, 2015.
  53. AG Dortmund, judgment of January 30, 2017, Az. 423 C 8482/16, full text .
  54. ^ LG Magdeburg, judgment of September 27, 2011, Az. 1 S 171/11, full text .
  55. ^ LG Magdeburg, press release No. 065/11 of December 12, 2011.
  56. ^ LG Hagen, judgment of March 4, 2016, Az. 1 S 198/15, full text .
  57. Federal Statistical Office : GENESIS database .
  58. SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg Germany: Compulsory fire alarms: Much noise about smoke. In: SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved September 2, 2016 .
  59. ^ Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia : Website - Video
  60. Smoke alarm from February 2015 mandatory on ORF from January 5, 2015, accessed on January 10, 2015.
  61. LGBl. No. 36/2013 Upper Austria. Construction Technology Ordinance 2013 - Upper Austria. BauTV 2013
  62. Austria: Smoke detector is now also mandatory in the State of Salzburg on ELV Journal of August 13, 2016, accessed on July 1, 2017.
  63. OIB guideline 2, section 3.11. (PDF) In: OIB guideline 2. Österreichisches Institut für Bautechnik, March 2015, accessed on August 3, 2017 .
  64. ↑ Compulsory smoke alarms in Austria , accessed on January 10, 2015.
  65. Fire protection regulations in Switzerland on: Swiss portal, accessed on August 22, 2012.
  66. Safety tips ( memento of November 14, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 461 kB) Office for Civil Protection, accessed on August 22, 2012.
  67. On the benefits of smoke alarms , Tageblatt online, accessed on August 22, 2012.
  68. List of all smoke alarm device certificate holders (VdS). Retrieved April 17, 2020 .
  69. KRIWAN test center: Fire alarm technology - testing and certification .
  70. a b TÜV Rheinland and KRIWAN Test Center cooperate in the field of testing smoke alarm devices | de | TÜV Rheinland. In: Retrieved February 9, 2016 .
  71. Q-LABEL - The quality mark for smoke detectors. In: Retrieved May 25, 2020 .
  72. a b Smoke detector: Good detectors from 20 euros - the most expensive in the test fails. In: February 11, 2019, accessed on March 20, 2020 (20 devices tested in 2016, 17 in 2018. Some were randomly tested again.).
  73. Smoke detector Fireangel ST-630 - The fire angel beeps too early. Stiftung Warentest, December 5, 2018, accessed on January 29, 2020 .
  74. About • EI Electronics. Retrieved January 29, 2020 (UK English).
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 21, 2012 in this version .