Common Questions About Smoke Detector Placement
You may be wondering if your home is as safe as it should be. Would you and your family be protected in the case of a house fire? You may have smoke detectors, but do you have enough? Are you sure they all work? Ask yourself these 4 questions about smoke detector placement to optimize your home’s protection against fire.
How Many Smoke Detectors Should I Have?
There is no correct answer for the ideal number of smoke detectors in a home because it varies based on the size and layout of the house. One smoke detector should be installed in each bedroom, so sleeping family members will be alerted in case of fire. Because many people sleep with their doors closed, it is imperative to have a smoke detector installed in the hallway outside of each bedroom, too. This way, whether the fire starts inside or outside of the bedroom, you will receive an early warning and be able to get out of the house.
Where is the Ideal Smoke Detector Placement?
Usually, smoke detectors are installed on the ceiling. Smoke rises, so the detector should be up high where it accumulates. Sometimes, it isn’t possible to install the detector on the ceiling. In this case, it should be installed on the wall, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling. In the case of a pitched ceiling, the detector physically can’t be installed at the highest point. The best smoke detector positioning for a vaulted ceiling should be at least 4 inches away from the apex but within 3 feet of it.
How Do I Maintain Smoke Detectors?
Smoke detectors can only save lives if they are working properly. Even hardwired smoke alarms need to be tested monthly. They contain backup batteries, and it is important that these batteries have a charge. Some detectors rely solely on batteries. Get into the habit of pressing the test button on smoke detectors once a month. Even if the batteries are not dead, change them twice per year. Daylight savings time is a good way to remember this task. Also, replace the entire devices every 10 years.
What Other Safety Devices Should I Have?
There are other safety devices besides smoke detectors that can protect you and your family in case of a house fire. It is smart to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to put out small fires. Carbon monoxide detectors can protect you from breathing an invisible, odorless, and deadly gas. If you have a multiple story home, invest in safety ladders to escape a house fire.