When a fire happens in your home, you have just minutes to react. This is why the location of smoke detectors is so important. By installing detectors in the right places, you save valuable time in an emergency situation. Here are some guidelines for proper smoke detector placement in the home.
First Rule of Smoke Detector Placement: One on Every Level
For correct smoke detector placement, there should be at least be one device on each level of your home. A fire can start anywhere, so it’s critical that family members are alerted as soon as possible. Don’t forget to place detectors in your basement and attic if your home has these spaces.
Put Detectors in Bedrooms and Outside of Sleeping Areas
When working on proper smoke detector placement, consider that a fire may occur when everyone is sound asleep. Install a detector in each bedroom and in hallways outside of bedrooms. This way even if the bedroom door is closed, the alarm will sound whether the fire starts inside or outside of the bedroom.
Be Careful With Smoke Detector Placement in Cooking Areas
Half of all house fires start in the kitchen, so you’ll want detectors in this area. To decrease the chance of false alarms, don’t place smoke detectors too close to cooking appliances. In the kitchen, the detector should be installed near or on the ceiling and about 10 feet away from the stove. If you have an outdoor kitchen, place a detector around the nearest entryway so anyone inside is alerted if a fire starts.
Place Detectors Up High
Smoke and heat rise quickly when a fire starts, so the best smoke detector placement is on ceilings or up high on the wall and away from air vents. If there is a fire, the alarm is more likely to be triggered before the fire has a chance to spread.
Don’t Forget Attached Home Structures
If your home has an attached garage, place a smoke detector in this area. Fires have more time to spread when they start in parts of your home that are separate from living areas because they’re more likely to go undetected. Also, install smoke detectors in areas like enclosed patios and porches.
Once you’ve properly installed smoke detectors, the next step is to set a reminder to regularly test each device. If you don’t want to worry about remembering to change batteries, choose hard-wired detectors. Don’t disconnect smoke detectors if they keep sounding false alarms, instead find a more appropriate location.