As part of an overall fire prevention plan for your home, the proper placement of smoke detectors is crucial. Knowing where best to install them can make a world of difference to your family’s safety. The following are 10 tips on where to put smoke detectors in your home.
- Smoke detectors should be hard-wired to a dedicated circuit, without any switching that could inadvertently disconnect them. Each detector should have a backup battery allow it to work independently of house power in case of loss of electricity.
- Your smoke detectors should be interconnected so that when one of them detects smoke, all of the detectors throughout your home will sound the alarm.
- Place detectors directly outside all sleeping areas. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, one should be installed inside the bedroom. Long hallways should have a detector installed every 30 feet.
- Avoid installing smoke detectors near windows or doors. The drafts from them can redirect smoke away from the detectors, rendering them ineffective.
- Make sure you allow at least 3ft. clearance from air registers and forced air units as these can also undermine the effectiveness of your smoke detector.
- You should install a smoke detector at the top of any stairwells in the home. An enclosed stairway will act much like a chimney and channel smoke upwards to the top of the stairs.
- Ceilings that are domed, cathedral-type, etc. should have detectors mounted within 3 feet of the highest point of the ceiling.
- Do not install smoke detectors in dusty areas. The dust can cause the detector to either fail or give false smoke alarms.
- Avoid installation in areas of high humidity such as bathrooms. The humidity can also generate false alarms.
- You may need to try different types of smoke detectors depending on their sensitivity and placement to ensure proper operation and no false alarms. There are two types you can buy: ionization and photoelectric.
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of replacing smoke detector batteries at the same time that you set your clocks for a time change, as both are required twice a year, and the time change is a handy reminder. Remember that every room, and each floor of your home should have at least one smoke detector installed.