Are smoke detectors mandatory in private saunas?

Numerous Germans have their own sauna in their private living rooms. Sauna fires occur 60% in private saunas. How does it happen? How can they be prevented? And are smoke detectors actually mandatory in private saunas?
Fire protection in the home sauna

Fire protection in the home sauna

The reason for a sauna fire can be a technical defect. However, statistics from major insurers show that the situation is often different for sauna fires in private rooms. Here the reason is typically carelessness. For example, if the stove is covered with towels or clothes that were not removed after the last sauna session. Switching on the sauna heater can then lead to a fire. As a result, the sauna cabin must be renovated. This is typically associated with high costs. Unfortunately, personal injuries cannot be ruled out either. Therefore, every private sauna owner should invest a little money in fire protection.

How can a sauna fire be prevented in private rooms?

A sauna heater can get very hot. Therefore, any defect or improper start-up can lead to a fire disaster. Therefore, the sauna heater should never be covered with textiles or wooden elements when it is switched on. A sauna heater should also be serviced regularly. If it has a technical defect, it must not be used until it is repaired. There are electronic sauna controls that automatically stop the heating process if a defect is detected.

But be careful: it is not uncommon – especially in the case of saunas located outside – for example, cables to be eaten by martens. The electronic fire protection control is then no longer reliable. A temperature fuse that automatically stops the heating process of the sauna at a certain temperature should also be found in every private sauna.

Is a smoke detector mandatory in private saunas?

Smoke detectors have become mandatory in private homes in almost all German states. Those who have not yet equipped their residential property with them must do so by the end of 2020. This applies to both new buildings and existing buildings. There is only one exception. The state of Saxony makes smoke detectors mandatory only for new buildings and conversions. Existing buildings do not have to be retrofitted.

However, this obligation does not extend to all rooms belonging to an apartment or house. Only bedrooms, children’s rooms and corridors that serve as escape routes must be equipped. Accordingly, the private sauna is exempt from a smoke detector obligation.

What should be considered when installing smoke detectors in private saunas?

Should you nevertheless decide to install a smoke detector in the private sauna, the following must be observed: A smoke detector must not be installed directly in the sauna room. The reason: a sauna generates vapors and increased humidity when it is put into operation. This can trigger a false alarm from the smoke detector. It should also be protected from major temperature fluctuations and drafts. Ideally, it should be installed in the sauna room. This can also be done by a layman. Neither special tools nor previous craftsmanship are required.

 

David Brunner