The Importance of Smoke Detector Placement

If you have installed smoke detectors in your home, you have taken the first steps to protect your family in the event of a fire. Be certain your detectors are positioned in locations to maximize their effectiveness. This article explains the optimal smoke detector placement to ensure you are alerted to the danger of fire as soon as possible.

1. Install Detectors on Every Floor

If you live in a multi-level home, it is important to have at least one smoke detector on each floor. Often, appliances like the clothes dryer or furnace are kept in the basement, so detectors should be in this area too.

2. Smoke Detector Placement Near Bedrooms

Because you are more relaxed in a bedroom, you might be less aware of activity in the rest of the house. Detect fires that start in the bedroom by placing a device inside every bedroom. Also, install smoke detectors directly outside of the bedroom area to alert you to fires that ignite elsewhere in the home.

3. Install Smoke Detectors High on the Walls

Because smoke rises, the ceiling is the ideal area for smoke detector placement. If this is not possible, installation on the wall no more than a foot below the ceiling is best. Don’t install the smoke detector near an air vent or a window. Drafts may blow the smoke away and cause a delayed alarm.

4. Appliances That are Fire Hazards

Cooking appliances, clothes dryers, and furnaces are potential fire hazards in the home. A smoke detector should be placed in the proximity of any fire hazards. Installing a smoke detector directly over a stove will cause false alarms from normal cooking smoke. Install the smoke detector about 10 feet away from the stove and oven.

5. Don’t Forget Carbon Monoxide Detectors

After installing smoke detectors in the recommended locations, there is another threat to be aware of: carbon monoxide. Since CO is invisible and odorless, a detector is the only way to be alerted to its presence. CO is a potentially fatal gas. Protect your family by installing CO detectors in locations similar to smoke detectors. To save space, find devices that detect both smoke and CO.

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