July 6, 2022

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Smoke detectors are mandatory as of July, but one in six don't have them (yet)

Smoke detectors are mandatory as of July, but one in six don’t have them (yet)

This commitment has been applied to newly built homes since 2003; Now the government will also impose it on existing homes from July 1. Homeowners are responsible for installing smoke detectors themselves. The owner is responsible for renting out the property.

The WoonMonitor study, conducted by insurance company Interpolis, showed that 17 percent of Dutch households do not have a smoke detector at home. That’s slightly higher among renters: 20 percent.

lax and ignorant

“The reason is usually because they don’t think about it,” Interpolis’ Thijs Rösken says. “Just ignorance. There is often also some kind of indolence. People put it off. Many families have one in a drawer, but forget to hang it.”

In addition, people may fear the alleged hassle of disconnecting, replacing batteries, and testing if they are still working. It also often happens that hanging smoke detectors no longer work, usually because the batteries are empty.

Test button

According to the Institute of Physical Safety, the latter will apply to about a third of all hanging smoke detectors. “So it’s a good idea to hit the test button every now and then,” says Ruskin.

An Interpolis survey showed that 73% of the Dutch population is not worried or worried about the dangers of fire.

“We greet people when they put smoke detectors on,” Ruskin continues. “The difference can be that you can bring yourself to safety. That’s why we also sent our policyholders with a home or home insurance policy a card with information about it. There is no change in our insurance coverage.”

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3 minutes

“A fire can spread so far within 3 minutes that you cannot leave the house,” says René de Feijter, a fire researcher at the Efectis Research Laboratory. “In the past, when furniture was oak, it took longer. But now, with all kinds of plastic in the house, like sponge rubber in your sofa, it goes really fast.”

This also shows the video below from Efectis:

De Feijter also welcomes commitments to smoke detectors. “People who don’t have one may think this happens to the neighbors. But yes, the neighbors think so too. It will only save lives. When you sleep, you don’t smell any burning. The detector can warn you in time.”

He says the fires are mainly caused by daily negligence, such as accidents in the kitchen, where the stove is left, for example. “Not paying attention to the iron is also one of them. Or sleeping with a burning cigarette.”

cheap chargers

A remarkable reason mentioned by the researcher is the chargers and batteries of rechargeable equipment. “Especially poor quality chargers, which people order online, for example if the original charger is lost or broken. With cheaper chargers, you have a higher risk of something going wrong.”