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 Safety Reminders
- Test the smoke detector monthly. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, test your smoke detector monthly to make sure it’s working properly. Most smoke detectors have a one-press test button that shines a light or sounds a test alarm to let you know the detector is working properly.
- Replace smoke detectors every 10 years. Most detectors only last up to 10 years before needing to be replaced. As a best practice, write down the installation date for each smoke detector so you’ll always know when to replace it.
- Replace batteries annually. To make sure your smoke detector is working properly, change the batteries at least twice a year. As a best practice, change your smoke detectors when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
- Keep the smoke detector clean. Make sure your detector is free of dust, dirt, paint and other particles that may prevent the detector from spotting and alerting you of smoke. Vacuum it at least once a year or more as needed.