Every year, thousands of homeowners experience house fires. While most survive thanks to smoke alarms, those with broken, damaged, or poorly placed smoke detectors are at a severe disadvantage. Take care of proper smoke detector placement in your home to protect your family from house fires.
Why Smoke Detector Placement Matters
As a fire burns, the smoke will rise toward the ceiling of the room. When your smoke alarm is improperly placed, it can take significantly longer to detect the smoke and sound a warning. House fires can be deadly when occupants are asleep and smoke detectors aren’t in the best location to give an early alert.
Laws Regarding Smoke Detector Placement
Some municipalities have laws that govern smoke detector placement. Depending on whether you live in a multi-family property or single-family home, the number of detectors required might be different. It’s important to remember that the law specifies the minimum number of alarms that are recommended, and installing more to protect your family is never a bad idea.
Where Should You Install Detection Devices?
Take a look throughout your home and make a note of where you currently have detectors installed. It may be necessary to add more devices to keep your family safe.
- Install a smoke detector in all common areas, like living rooms and dens.
- There should be a device on the ceiling at the bottom of a stairway.
- Place smoke detectors in each bedroom and outside of every sleeping area.
- Mount all smoke detectors on the ceiling or between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.
- Do not install devices near HVAC vents, windows, or ceiling fans. Airflow can delay the sounding of the alarm.
Choosing a Quality Smoke Detector
The type of smoke detector that you choose is important. Many homes use ionization smoke alarms, which are designed to rapidly detect the heat from flames that spread quickly through the property. There are also newer detectors designed with photoelectric technology. Photoelectric alarms sound when they detect a smoky, smoldering fire. A dual-sensor smoke detector is the best way to protect your family.