Proper Smoke Detector Placement Makes a Difference

Smoke detectors are some of the most important safety features in a home. In case of a house fire, they are designed to provide an early warning at the first hint of smoke. However, if they are installed without proper smoke detector placement in mind, they may not be as effective as they should be. Make sure that your smoke detectors are in all the correct places by reading this article.

Smoke Detector Placement on Every Floor

If any of the floors in your home are missing smoke detectors, install them. At the bare minimum, there should be one smoke detector on every floor, even in the basement and attic. On most levels of the home, you’ll need more than one installed: inside every bedroom, in the hallways outside of bedrooms, near the kitchen and laundry room, and in the garage.

Smoke Rises

Smoke detectors are usually found on the ceiling because smoke rises. The best smoke detector placement is on the ceiling or on the wall, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling. On a pitched ceiling, the smoke detector should be installed at least 4 inches away from the apex, but within 3 feet of it.

Check Batteries

Smoke detectors don’t do any good if they aren’t working. Some smoke detectors are entirely battery-powered, and some are hardwired but have backup batteries. Either way, they should be regularly tested. Testing a smoke detector is as simple as pressing the test button and making sure it sounds. Test the devices once a month, and refresh the batteries every year, even if they are not dead. The devices themselves should be replaced every decade.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors aren’t as common in homes as smoke detectors, but they can be just as important. Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it has no color or smell, but it is deadly to breathe. Fuel-burning appliances may put off carbon monoxide if they malfunction, so you should have CO detectors installed near them. There should also be one in the garage. It’s best for CO detectors to be positioned 5 feet above the floor.

Away From Fans and Vents

Smoke and CO detectors need to be installed far away from HVAC vents and ceiling fans. The circulating air makes it difficult for these devices to detect any smoke or carbon monoxide present.

Gardner Home Inspections provides home inspection services to Northern Alabama. Contact us to book our services.