Rescue Board conducting home smoke detector spot checks this week

Installing smoke alarms in private apartments has been mandatory by law since 2009.
Installing smoke alarms in private apartments has been mandatory by law since 2009. Source: Photo: Pärnu Postimees / Scanpix

Rescue Board (Päästeamet) personnel will be conducting spot checks at private households this week, to ensure that the property has a functioning smoke detector. Failure to have one installed can lead to fines of up to €40.

Maret Rannala, head of the Rescue Board's safety supervision department,

noted that: "Smoke detectors have been mandatory for 14 years, but unfortunately many homes still lack them."

"For this reason, we would like to remind you of the necessity of this vital device with a one-off, extensive inspection. In the absence of a functioning smoke detector, it is possible to receive a fine of €40 via expedited procedure," she went on.

The board's aim with the inspections is not to issue fines, Rannala added, but to ensure that homes have properly installed and functioning smoke detectors.

The board says that this year so far, 33 people have died in house fires, and in most cases, functioning smoke detectors had not been installed.

This makes smoke alarms essential in addition to being a legal requirement.

Fires can become life-threatening very rapidly, while smoke and carbon monoxide can make even a relatively small fire life-threatening, the board says.

While every home is obliged to have at least one smoke detector, the board recommends having one installed on every floor, or even in each room.

Smoke detectors also have a useful life which can range from three to 10 years depending upon manufacturer and price, so the board recommends that even those who have a detector installed check its age and consider a replacement where necessary.

The Rescue Board will be carrying out its spot checks nationwide from today, Monday, to Friday, November 17 inclusive, daytime and through to 7 p.m.

As noted a missing or non-functioning smoke detector can result in a fine of up to €40.

Rescue Board inspectors will be wearing official clothing and can be requested to present their work ID prior to being admitted inside.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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