When homeowners consider home safety, protection against house fires comes immediately to mind. The most important defense against house fires is your smoke detectors. Statistics show that 3 out of 5 deaths due to house fires are in homes without working smoke detectors. Review these rules for proper smoke detector placement and make sure they are all followed in your home.
Rules of Thumb for Smoke Detector Placement
There are some basic, common-sense rules for smoke detector placement that should always be followed. While most people have heard them before, it is easy to let them fall by the wayside and cut corners.
- There should be at least one smoke detector for every level of the home.
- The smoke detector should be on the ceiling, or on the wall no more than 10 inches from the ceiling.
- Smoke detectors need to be tested monthly to make sure they are operational.
- A smoke detection device has a lifespan of about a decade.
- Change your smoke detector’s batteries when the time changes twice a year.
Commonly Forgotten Areas for Smoke Detectors
Some areas you may not think to install a smoke detector are the laundry room, basement, attic, and garage. Because of the rule that a smoke detector should be on every level, there should be one in the attic and basement whether the furnace is located there or not. Also, they should not only be inside every bedroom but outside of the bedroom doors in the hallways.
Things to Avoid With Smoke Detector Placement
Certain conditions can make a smoke alarm fail to detect smoke. Painting over a smoke detector or otherwise decorating it inhibits its ability to function properly. Don’t install a smoke detector near an air vent, ceiling fan, ventilation fan, or doorway because the movement of air can dissipate the smoke. You won’t be able to rely on your smoke detector to alert you to fire if they are installed in these locations.