Smoke detectors are inexpensive, easy to install, and provide peace of mind when it comes to your family’s safety. Protect your family and your property by learning about the maintenance and proper installation of smoke detectors in your home.

Locations for Proper Installation of Smoke Detectors

At a minimum, place one smoke detector on each level of your home, including the basement. It is recommended that detecting devices are installed in each bedroom and in the hallway outside of the bedrooms. A smoke detector in the kitchen should be 10 feet from cooking appliances to prevent unwanted false alarms. If your home has a stairway, install a smoke detector on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.

Because smoke rises, proper installation of smoke detectors means placing them high up on the walls, not more than 12” from the ceiling or directly on the ceiling. Avoid installing smoke detectors near windows or HVAC vents to minimize the chance of airflow interfering with the alarm.

How to Install

For proper installation of smoke detectors, read the manual that comes with the device. Each alarm is different and you’ll want to understand the specifics of your smoke detector. Use fresh batteries and test the device before you install it.

Many smoke alarms come with a mounting base that is separate from the alarm. After you’ve chosen the location for your smoke detector, use the base to mark the correct place for installation. Use wall anchors and then screw the base into the wall. Finally, twist the smoke detector onto its base.

Maintain Your Smoke Detectors

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining your smoke detection devices. Test each alarm once a month and set reminders to replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Smoke alarms with a permanent 10-year battery are designed to chirp when the battery gets low. Replace the entire device before the battery expires following the instructions for proper installation of smoke detectors. When working on home improvement projects, avoid painting over smoke detectors. Even a single layer of paint can prevent the alarm from working.

Your family can get involved in planning, installing, and maintaining smoke detectors. Test the alarms with your children to help them become familiar with the sound of the alert. Following the above tips for installing smoke detectors in your home will help keep your family, home, and property safe.

Cowan Inspections Group offers home inspections in the greater Salt Lake area. Contact us to schedule any of our home inspection and testing services.