Questions about installing smoke detectors

Smoke alarms in your home can be vital. The sooner you discover a fire in your home, the more time you have to escape safely. By providing an early warning, smoke detectors ensure a safe living environment.

Will I get a smoke detector from you?

You will receive a smoke detector if you do not already have one, at no expense to you.

When will I get a smoke detector?

In July 2022, we will start installing smoke detectors in homes built before 2004. You will be notified by the contractor performing the work.

Smoke detectors are mandatory in all homes as of 1 July 2022. Why don't I have one yet?

We need to install around 52,000 smoke detectors in close to 26,000 homes. There is too much work to get everything done before 1 July 2022. Sourcing enough smoke detectors and qualified staff is already quite a challenge. As such, we will not meet the deadline; we expect to be busy until early 2023.

What type of smoke detector will I get?

We install optical smoke detectors, which work with infrared. This is the type prescribed by the government. We choose smoke detectors with a battery that lasts at least ten years. The battery cannot be removed from the smoke detector. After ten years, we will replace the smoke detectors. Our smoke detectors comply with the legal standards (NEN-EN 14604).

I don't want to wait; if I buy a smoke detector myself, will you pay for it?

No, we will not pay for privately purchased smoke detectors. You are better off waiting for us to install it, as that is free. Waiting also ensures that you have a safe smoke detector that meets the legal standards (NEN-EN 14604).

I have already installed up a smoke detector, will you come to install one anyway?

Yes, we will install our smoke detector anyway. Our smoke detectors comply with the legal standards (NEN-EN 14604). This is the only way to ensure that your house is safe. We will leave the old smoke detector hanging to avoid damaging the ceiling; you may remove it yourself.

How long does a smoke detector last?

The battery in the smoke detector lasts at least ten years. We will replace the smoke detectors on time. You are responsible for taking care of the smoke detector after installation:

  • Test the smoke detector twice a year, for example at the start of daylight saving time and winter time. Test the smoke detector by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
  • Dust the smoke detector regularly with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Clean the holes in the smoke detector regularly with the base of a vacuum cleaner.

If I suffer fire damage before you install a smoke detector, are you liable for the damage?

No, we are not. A smoke detector is a tool to alert you to a fire. A smoke detector cannot prevent a fire, but it can give you more time to safely get out of your home.

If I have contents insurance and suffer fire damage before you install a smoke detector, am I insured?

That is up to your insurer. We do not expect insurers to charge a different premium or pay a different or no claim amount after 1 July 2022. We are not aware of any insurers who have changed their terms and conditions. You can contact your insurer to get information about this.

Questions about the smoke detector:

How do I maintain my smoke detector?

  • Test the smoke detector twice a year, for example, at the switch to daylight saving time and back again. Test the smoke detector by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds. If the alarm doesn’t sound, clean the smoke detector and repeat the test. If the smoke detector still does not work, contact Woonbedrijf or Vestide.
  • Dust the smoke detector regularly with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Clean the holes in the smoke detector regularly with the base of a vacuum cleaner.

My smoke detector goes off even though nothing is going on. Is it reliable?

When the smoke alarm goes off, always check first to see if there is a fire!

However, sometimes a smoke detector can be triggered when there is no fire.
This could be a random alarm that stops after 5 to 20 seconds. It is usually a sign that the smoke detector is dirty. In this case, clean the detector by vacuuming it thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner and run a slightly damp cloth over the surface.

If cleaning does not help and the smoke alarm still goes off, or if the it occasionally gives a short beep, read below to find out what you can do yourself:

Is the smoke detector connected to the mains?
Check the meter box. A breaker may have tripped. In that case, use the plug test (www.woonbedrijf.com/tips-bouwservice ) to determine whether it is causes by a device or a problem with the electrical system. If there is a problem in the meter box, report it to us: submit a repair request via www.woonbedrijf.com/reparatie-aanvragen or call +31 40 243 43 43. If you are renting from Vestide, submit your request to https://www.vestide.nl/nl/reparatie-aanvragen or call +31 40 297 93 80. We will send a technician as soon as possible.

If there is no problem in the meter box
If the problem is not in the meter box, the backup battery may be dead. The backup battery is a 9 V battery which ensures that the smoke detector stays on during power outages. Replace the battery in the smoke detector as soon as possible. Note: Turn the power off first, and do not turn it back on until the smoke detector has been put back on the base plate.

Battery-powered smoke detectors
From 2022, all homes built before 2004 will have smoke detectors installed with a 10-year battery. The battery lasts at least ten years and cannot be replaced. After about ten years, we will come to your home to replace the smoke detector. If the smoke detector goes off even though nothing is going on, report it to us: submit a repair request via www.woonbedrijf.com/reparatie-aanvragen or call +31 40 243 43 43. If you are renting from Vestide, submit your request to https://www.vestide.nl/nl/reparatie-aanvragen or call +31 40 297 93 80. We will send a technician as soon as possible.

Smoke detector triggered by smoking or cooking

Smoke detectors are designed so that smoking or cooking will not set them off.

However, if you are planning something like a raclette party, sanding/sawing or steaming off wallpaper near a smoke detector, the smoke, dust or steam may set off the alarm. In that case, you should temporarily cover the smoke detector. This also prevents grease and dust from getting in, keeping the smoke detector clean.

Remember to remove the cover again when you’re done!

I am deaf or hard of hearing, will I hear the smoke alarm?

There are special devices for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to warn them in the event of a fire. These devices do not detect smoke but wirelessly connect to a smoke detector.

For example, a vibrating plate can be placed under a seat cushion. The vibrating plate vibrates strongly to warn of a fire if the smoke detector is set off.

There is also a visual system that uses bright light signals to warn of a fire when the smoke detector sounds an alarm.

Check with your health insurance company for these provisions.