Smoke detectors save a number of lives by alerting occupants early about a house fire. Fires can develop on the other side of the home or on a floor that nobody is on or while you are sleeping. Without a smoke detector to alert you, the fire can grow out of control and trap people inside. Simply installing smoke detectors is not enough for safety. Learn about the best places to install smoke detectors so you can maximize their benefits.
Best Places to Install Smoke Detectors in Your Home
If you are updating your home fire safety plan or assessing your home’s overall security and safety features, the condition and placement of smoke detectors should be a top priority.
1. Install Smoke Detectors on Each Floor
Generally, at least one smoke detector should be installed on each floor. When these detectors are linked, the alarm will sound from all units when smoke is detected. Since smoke rises, all smoke detectors in the home should be installed high on walls or on the ceiling. Place them far from air vents that could direct smoke away from the detector.
2. Cooking Areas
Fires can develop in the home for many reasons, but one of the more common causes is a cooking mishap. For example, a grease fire on the stove or a forgotten item in the oven can cause a fire in the kitchen. Because many fires start in the kitchen, one of the best places to install smoke detectors is in or close to the kitchen.
Remember that normal, safe cooking activities can produce smoke as well. Frequent false alarms occur if smoke detectors are too close to the stove and oven. Some people install a smoke detector just outside of the kitchen, such as in an adjacent breakfast room, to avoid false alarms.
3. The Laundry Room
The laundry room may initially seem like one of the least important areas to install a smoke detector. However, fires caused by the dryer are possible. These fires often develop when the air vent is clogged and the dryer overheats. The lint in the dryer trap or vent is flammable, so an overheated dryer can be dangerous. You may not know about a fire in this room without a functional smoke detector.
4. Bedrooms and Hallways
You may be unaware of your surroundings when relaxing or sleeping in your bedroom. If you sleep with the bedroom door closed, you may not know about a fire until it is already out of control. Smoke detectors should be installed in all of your bedrooms as well as in the hallway outside the bedroom doors.
Remember that carbon monoxide can be deadly as well. Installing a carbon monoxide detector on each floor is equally important. Remember to test and replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.