Quality-approved lifesavers

Everything you need to know about smoke alarm devices

Where do I need the detectors?

Highly recommended

and required by law in many countries - is the installation in

  • Bedrooms and children's rooms (every 3rd fire victim is a child)
  • Corridors and hallways, if these are escape routes


Also useful in

rooms with a lot of electrics, mostly

  • Living room (especially if you sometimes fall asleep on the sofa)
  • Laundry/heating cellar (fuse box located here? A main fire source in private apartments)


Please not in

  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen (the frequent steam can trigger alarms)


How do I install them?

  • always on the ceiling
  • best in the middle of the room
  • no obstacles (ceiling lamps, roof beams, high furniture such as cupboards) within a radius of around half a meter


Because smoke, by its own heat, rises to the highest point. Which is under the ceiling. There the detector reacts fastest – and in an emergency, every second can save lives. (Even experts are amazed how quickly an entire house is filled with smoke. For example, just one kilo of burning plastic produces up to 2,500 m3 of highly toxic gases. Three breaths can then already result in fainting).


In accordance with the manufacturer's instructions (mounting material always included in VdS-approved detectors).

  • Usually simply drill 2 holes, put in the plugs + screws, finished.
  • Sometimes even with an adhesive pad. In no time at all.


Sounds complex - but is only what the building laws officiale say for regularly

  • checking if the device is damaged (unlikely - but maybe the children caught it playing football)

more importantly

  • pressing the function button at the intervals specified in the operating instructions (usually every six months). After a few seconds the alarm sounds? Everything is fine

Legal requirements (in Germany) for


  • Acquisition
  • Installation



Although the federal tenancy law obliges landlords to

  • Service and maintenance

they can transfer this to the tenants. So the easiest thing to do is look at the lease.


We say: the "maintenance" is done in 3 minutes per year, so in your own interest, every resident should regularly take a look at his or her detector.

When to exchange?

After 10 years, the battery gives up - and the unavoidable dusting becomes dangerous. Then your detector will generate short, quiet beeps. This means: Please replace.


  • Night-time beeping?

You often see forum entries on the topic "Why does this beeping always start at night?".

Because it's colder then, minimizing the battery power (like on your mobile phone when used in winter). There are devices that only emit the battery alarm tone when it is bright -  costing a little more, of course, because additional electronics need to be installed.


How do I recognize safe smoke alarm devices?

Thousands of models are offered in DIY stores, online, as supermarket promotion - with sometimes significant price and above all quality differences.

Nobody can judge the reliability of the potential life-savers from the outside.

This is why there is VdS, a worldwide renowned institute for safety: We have been testing fire protection technology since it was first used. In the laboratories of our own state-accredited certification body, with German engineering and 100 % independence.

The most important thing: Reliability clearly proven. Safe and Sure.

VdS-approved detectors have proven in extensive tests that they will reliably save lives in case of fire.

Tested by our German engineers in real test fires (open and smouldering), in the mechanical smoke generator, after artificial ageing, shock and special impact as well as vibration tests, under temperature fluctuations, under difficult environmental conditions and +++. All for your safety.

The VdS-approved detectors also score best with "foundation product test" and in German state TV.

Comprehensive protection for you:

Important additional requirements for VdS-approved lifesavers

  • permanently installed battery (excluding the typical source of danger "remote control empty = smoke detector battery removed and then forgotten"). Once on the ceiling with the detector and you can relax for 10 years.
  • difficult environmental conditions, rust, electromagnetic influences? Do not interfere with VdS-approved devices.
  • virtually impossible: annoying, sometimes even risky false alarms.
  • always included (and clearly exceeded): German and EU fire protection standards.
  • even after the approval, we monitor, among other things, production plants all over the world and draw market samples - over 500 units per year. To make absolutely sure you can rely on VdS-approved detectors at all times.


Would you like to know more about our manufacturers' specifications, which are often adopted as international safety standards?


VdS-Approvals are based on the renowned VdS-Guidelines  - which are referred to by the safety and construction press as technical "bibles" and often years later form the basis of EU and worldwide ISO standards.

In 2014, together with the fire experts of the non-profit vfdb (Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection) consisting mostly of firemen, we formulated increased requirements for smoke alarms - and support manufacturers here with precise specifications for reliably saving human lives.

Your assurance: The No.1 Quality Seal for fire protection experts

For safety decision-makers, our logo is the most important purchase criterion (WIK/ASW-Enquete, the most comprehensive industry survey in Europe. Over many years in succession).

Fire brigades in many countries and lots of other professionals advise that you always look for the VdS-Approval on the packaging when buying.

So you can always be certain and safe.

All smoke alarms certified by our institute as reliable life-savers can be found here.

How do the devices actually work?

Inside the housing (in VdS-approved devices always protected from insects by a grille - otherwise a frequent source of false alarms), a light beam invisible to us is generated. It aims past the corresponding receiver. But even the finest smoke particles rising at a very early stage of fire/smouldering reflect that light. Then it hits the receiver.

This immediately triggers a loud alarm signal. In a frequency officially certified as "annoying", which will even wake up deep sleepers.

Why is this so important? Because at night our smelling sense is switched off. Not even the deadly hydrogen cyanide gases produced by burning plastics would wake us then.

You want to see smoke detectors from the inside?

If you can understand German, click here for a famous Kid TV-episode filmed at VdS - a little older, but still fully applicable. There you can also get important tips on how to behave in case of fire.

What are...

Interconnected detectors

The rule here is: If one sounds an alarm, all of them join in. Relevant in larger or multi-family houses or those with thick walls/doors, if you cannot hear a single alarm safely everywhere. In short: one for all, all for one - and above all for your life and that of your family.

Smart detectors

As life-savers, VdS-approved devices must always function autonomously. Those who wish can also connect special models to the Smart Home. Here too, VdS-Guidelines provide clear guidance maximising your safety. So innovative comfort functions can be easily implemented.

In the nineties, almost 1,000 people died from fires every year in our country alone. Today, this number is almost reduced to a third - thanks to the ever-increasing spread of smoke alarm devices.

Protect yourself and your loved ones

Would you like to know more or are you missing information?
We look forward to contributing to your safety:

lifesavers(at)vds.de     +49 (0)221 77 66 - 165

+ 49 (0) 221 7766-165
+ 49 (0) 221 7766-308