Where to place smoke detectors

Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home to detect rising smoke from a fire. They should be placed inside or directly outside of each bedroom and common areas, and in laundry rooms and kitchens where fires can originate. To reduce false alarms when cooking, consider installing smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from any kitchen appliances. If you have a larger home, you’ll want to consider more alarms, that are situated in hallways and stairways.  It’s best to install smoke detectors that can be interconnected so you’ll hear the alarm no matter where you are in your home.

Smoke detector installation do’s and don’ts

For your safety, it’s important to know how and where to place smoke detectors. Here are a few reminders when buying and installing smoke detectors in your home.

Always remember to….

  • Before installing, check to make sure the detector is approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to meet strict testing and safety requirements. Look for the ‘UL’ label on the smoke detector packaging.
  • Read the smoke detector’s manual before installing for proper set-up
  • Check to make sure whether your smoke detector senses ionization or photoelectric fires, or both
  • Install smoke detectors on the ceiling. If you must mount the smoke detector on the wall, it should be placed less than 12 inches away from the ceiling or less than three feet from the peak of pitched ceilings to accurately detect smoke or fire
  • Connect multiple detectors when possible so that all alarms will sound when smoke is detected.

Don’t install the detector….

  • On windows or sliding doors as the winds and air may not pick up the heat of smoke or fire
  • In humid or moist areas including the bathroom
  • In areas that easily collect dust and dirt including unfinished attics
  • In cooler rooms such as sunrooms or porches
  • Near ceiling fans or air vents
  • In garages, as they are often not temperature-regulated and the cooler temperatures may not detect smoke or fire

Smoke detector safety reminders