Friday, June 10, 2011

Take Safety in Your Own Hands

There is a law requiring every home in France to be equipped with a smoke alarm by year 2015- that is too late!

Around 800 people die each year from domestic fires in France and it is estimated that only 1% to 3% of homes in France are currently equipped with a smoke alarm. This compares with 98% in Norway and 89% in the UK, where they have been a legal requirement since 1997.

The difficulty with any new law is going to be the practicalities of ensuring compliance, unless the government was to employ an army of 'smoke alarm inspectors', which seems unlikely! It could well be that pressure will be exerted through French home insurance companies to make it a condition of insurance policies. However, even then there remains the difficulty of ensuring the alarms are installed and maintained properly. We shall have to await the outcome of the passage of the law, and the no doubt voluminous decrees that will subsequently be published on the subject.

According to an article in The Connexion, even when the law is enforced, the responsibility for buying the alarm and regularly checking it falls on the person living in the home, except in holiday homes and furnished flats where it is the landlord's job. A law to make installation of the smoke alarms in France compulsory was passed in 2009 but was ruled unconstitutional. The revised version was backed by the majority of MPs except the Communist party, which argued the responsibility should always fall with the landlord and not the tenant.

If you or your loved ones are interested to rent a property in France or anywhere in the world where the Fire Safety Law is not enforced, there is not any law to stop you making it a Condition of the Contract that your rental shall be equipped with smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and Escape Ladder, even though it is not yet enforced.

No comments:

Post a Comment