Each year, there is an average of more than 300,000 house fires in the United States. Approximately 2500 fire-related deaths occur. Of those fires, the most destruction occurs in homes without working smoke detectors. For fire safety, it is essential that your house has functional smoke detecting devices. Let’s look at the best tactics for smoke detector placement in the home.
The Basics of Smoke Detector Placement
In general, smoke detectors should be installed on the ceiling. If the detector cannot be installed on the ceiling, place it within 12 inches of the top of the wall.
Every floor of your home should have at least one smoke detecting device, but most will need more than one. Install a device in each bedroom and in the hallway outside of the bedrooms.
Other Areas to Install Detectors
Because of the possibility of a dryer fire, it’s smart to install a smoke alarm in your laundry room.
Often, cleaning supplies, fuel, and other flammable materials are stored in the garage. Install a smoke detector in the garage to provide an early warning in case a fire breaks out in this area.
In the basement, install your smoke detector on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.
To help prevent false alarms, place your kitchen smoke detector a minimum of 10 feet away from any cooking appliances.
The ‘Don’ts’ of Smoke Detector Placement
When installing your smoke detectors, here are a few things that are advised against:
- Don’t install smoke detectors near doors or windows. Drafts can affect their operation.
- Don’t paint or decorate smoke alarms; this could interfere with their ability to detect smoke.
- Don’t install smoke detectors near ceiling fans or air vents. Keep them at least 36 inches away.
Smoke Detector Maintenance
It’s important to test your smoke detectors once each month to make sure they are functioning properly. Change the batteries twice every year. An easy way to remember is by changing the batteries when the time changes in fall and spring. The entire device will need to be replaced every 10 years. To keep them working well, dust your smoke detectors or vacuum them off regularly.