One in six households still don’t have smoke alarms, despite new rules

A workman installing a smoke detector. Photo:
A workman installing a smoke detector. Photo:

Home owners and landlords have just over a month to install smoke alarms before new legislation comes into force on July 1, and one in six households have yet to do so.

The legal requirement to have an alarm on every floor has been place for new builds since 2003 but from July existing homes will also have to be fitted with the devices.

According to a survey by insurer Interpolis, 17% of Dutch households do not have a smoke alarm and in one third of houses which do, the alarm does not work because the battery is empty.

The reason so few people have smoke alarms is ‘ignorance ’and ‘laziness’, Thijs Rösken of Interpolis told RTL Nieuws. ‘People postpone the decision to get them. People have them in a drawer and then forget about them.’

The Interpolis survey also shows 73% of people are not worried about the risk of fire breaking out.

There are some 100,000 house fires a year in the Netherlands, and last year 31 people were killed in a fire at their home. Short circuits, faulty electrical devices and smoking are the main causes of domestic fires.

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