Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. To protect you, your family, and your property, it’s important to get the smoke detector placement right. Here are some tips for the proper installation of smoke detectors.
Optimal Smoke Detector Placement
Place Smoke Detectors in the Bedrooms
Your family is most vulnerable to fire at night when everyone is asleep. It’s important that you install smoke detectors in each bedroom and in the hallways outside sleeping areas.
Protect Each Level of Your Home
Every level of your home needs at least one smoke detector. On floors without sleeping areas, proper smoke detector placement is close to the bottom of the stairs and in the living room or family room. In the basement, install a smoke detector on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.
Mount Alarms High
Since smoke rises, install alarms either on the ceiling or within 12 inches of the ceiling. For ceilings with a pitch, correct placement is within three feet of the peak. Devices should not be installed within 4 inches of the peak, however, due to the concentration of air in that area.
Smoke Detector Placement Around Cooking Appliances
Cooking produces small amounts of smoke and steam. The smoke can trigger the detectors and sound an alarm. Install a smoke detector about 10 feet away from any cooking appliance. This ensures you will be alerted to a kitchen fire while reducing the chances of false alarms.
Avoid Vents, Windows, and Doors
When working on proper smoke detector placement, install alarms at least 3 feet away from vents, windows, and doors. Drafts can hinder the proper operation of a smoke detecting device.
A Note on Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide gas doesn’t rise. Instead, it blends with the air in your home. CO is best detected at around 5 feet, or 60 inches, off the ground. Like smoke detectors, you need a carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area and on each level of your home. Also, install a CO detector near an attached garage.
Proper smoke detector placement is important for giving your family the maximum protection possible from smoke and fire. Test your detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year. Installing smoke detecting devices as recommended will ensure an early alert to danger.