The district chimney sweep checks the smoke detectors every month. Safe is safe. "The smoke detectors don't cost the earth – and they have prevented many a fire in our house", groh openly admits. The chimney sweep didn't want to wait until smoke detectors were legal.
"Our son once made a milk pudding, but turned on the wrong plate at the stove – and there was a cake on it that was covered with a tea towel. The cloth was already on fire when the smoke alarm went off", tells christine groh (44). The fire was quickly extinguished – no damage other than a charred dishcloth.
Of course, the mother of four knows that smoke detectors in the kitchen are controversial. But this incident was not the only one that triggered a fire by a hair's breadth. Therefore she accepts possible false alarms. "Especially in the kitchen is important for us a smoke detector. We don't want an alarm when the ceiling is already on fire", also says stefan groh.
A feeling of security
"Yes, when the coarse one sears the steaks a little bit, then the alarm can go off too. But it is better than the whole building burning down", says the mother. And in everyday life something can happen so easily. The fat in the pan has sometimes been forgotten in the heat of the moment – and here, too, the smoke detector prevented worse. "The smoke detector simply gives a feeling of safety", christine groh (44) says openly and honestly. And that is immensely important to her.
Her husband stefan is currently also dealing with the topic professionally. Because one thing is certain: the law is about to be introduced in bavaria as well – and smoke detectors could be an additional field of activity for chimney sweeps. "We are doing training. During fire inspections we are in the houses anyway, and we can install and maintain smoke detectors in our customers' homes without any fuss", explains groh. His trainee has already completed the courses for the smoke detectors, he himself has signed up. Chimney sweeps are currently working on flyers – with important information on the subject. "In rhineland-palatinate, saarland, schleswig-holstein, hesse, hamburg, mecklenburg-western pomerania, thuringia, saxony-anhalt, bremen and lower saxony, smoke alarms are already compulsory in private households. They are anchored in the building codes. It's a shame that you have to pass something like this by law first – but apparently there's no other way", according to groh.
In fact, although the draft law has already been introduced in agreement with the parties, the district office cannot yet say anything about possible monitoring. But capacities are tight. There will certainly not be extra inspectors, which is why the chances for monitoring by the chimney sweepers are good.
Smoke alarms must always be installed on the ceiling in the middle of the room, but at least 50 centimeters away from the wall or furnishings, according to groh's advice. He can only recommend that the installation of smoke alarms should not be put on the back burner.