Smoke Detectors


Install your smoke alarms correctly:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Including the basement. Make sure there is an alarm in or near every sleeping area.
  • Mount the smoke alarm high on walls or ceilings. Remember that smoke rises. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed four inches from the nearest wall. Wall-mounted alarms should be four to twelve inches from the ceiling.
  • If you have pitched ceilings, install the alarm at the highest point.
  • Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with the detection of smoke.
  • Hard-wired alarms can work as network-sounding alarms in all areas of the house. Make sure hard-wired alarms have battery backups.
  • Don't paint or decorate smoke alarms, because they may not work properly.

Keep your smoke alarms working properly:

  • Test your smoke alarms once a month.
  • Replace your smoke alarm batteries once a year.
  • Never borrow a battery from a smoke alarm.
  • Don't disable smoke alarms.
  • Regularly dust or vacuum smoke alarms.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Make sure everyone in your house can be awakened by a smoke alarm.
  • Plan fire drills with your family twice a year. Make sure children and disabled have assistance in escape.
  • Hold a drill at night to make sure sleeping family members wake up to alarm.
  • If you are building a new home or remodeling consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system.