Don’t Skimp on Smoke Detector Placement

February 27, 2019

Don't Skimp on Smoke Detector PlacementSmoke detectors save lives. You should never cut corners when it comes to smoke alarm installation in your home (or business). Protect your family by having enough smoke detectors, installing them in all key locations, and ensuring that they are working properly at all times. For this important blog, in addition to drawing from our years of experience installing and maintaining home smoke alarm systems, we have also drawn from the resources of trusted organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association and several reputable manufacturers.

How Many Smoke Detectors Do You Need?

In almost every home, one smoke alarm is not enough. Having a sufficient number of working smoke detectors will increase the chance that you will promptly hear an alarm if a fire breaks out at your house.

How many floors does your home have? How many bedrooms are there? Add those two numbers together. Your house needs at least that many smoke detectors, and that’s just the beginning.

Keep in mind that you can’t have too many smoke detectors. It’s better to install more alarms than necessary than not to have enough of them.

Where You Need Smoke Alarms

Including the basement, every floor of your house needs at least one smoke detector. Floors that are more than 1,000 square feet need two or more alarms. Consider placing a smoke detector near the top of each stairwell.

Each bedroom needs its own smoke detector. There should also be a smoke alarm in the hallway outside bedroom areas. In the kitchen, make sure that you select a spot that is at least 10 feet away from the range and the oven.

Other areas, such as where a wood stove is located, the mechanical room, or wherever flammable liquids are stored, are also good candidates for installing smoke detectors.

Throughout your home, smoke detectors should be installed in spots that are away from vents and windows. Because smoke rises, ceilings and the tops of walls are the best locations for detectors.

How to Keep Your Smoke Detectors in Good Working Order

A system of interconnected smoke alarms is the safest choice and is often required by code in new construction and major remodel projects. When one alarm sounds, all of them will sound. Retrofitting an interconnected smoke alarm system in an existing home can often be a near-impossible or very costly proposition, and while this might be best, it is typically not required.

For the greatest peace of mind, consider having an in-depth inspection of your current smoke alarm layout and products, including professional recommendations for ways to make your home safer. Contact a trusted local electrician such as Save Home Heat Company.

Of course, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your smoke alarms function properly and remain effective and reliable. You should:

  • Use detectors approved by testing laboratories
  • Consider purchasing combination ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms, which provide the best protection against both quick-spreading fires, as well as fires that grow from slowly smoldering fuel.
  • Test your detectors regularly per manufacturer instructions
  • Replace disposable batteries annually
  • Learn and listen for end-of-battery-life chirps and other important customer-notifications built into your detectors
  • Install new alarms every 10 years

Protect your family and your home with properly functioning smoke detectors. In the Denver-Boulder area, the experienced electricians at Save Home Heat Company are well qualified and prepared to assess your home, and provide you professional advice about the placement and types of smoke alarms that make sense to consider for your residence. We’d be glad to help you with all your home electrical needs, as well as your heating, cooling, plumbing and drain systems. Contact us today.

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