Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors / Alarms

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors can alert you to danger in your home in time for you to escape, even if you are sleeping. To wake up and survive a nighttime fire, you must have working detectors!

Installation Areas


You should install detectors in the following areas:

  • Detectors outside each sleeping area (a common hallway, for example).
  • Detectors on each level of your home if more than one story. (including the basement).
  • An additional detector in each bedroom, as you should sleep with your door closed.

Placement


Placement of detectors is very important. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and use these guidelines to help you.

  • Mount on the ceiling at least six inches from the wall or on a wall between six and twelve inches from the ceiling, but keep detectors about six inches away from the corner where the ceiling and wall meet (the corner is a "dead air space" where the detector won't be in the path of smoke travel).
  • For high pitched or "cathedral" ceilings, mount the detectors three feet from the highest point.
  • Avoid placement in the path of ceiling fans, air conditioning or heater vents.
  • Make certain smoke detectors are UL listed.
  • Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
  • When replacing smoke detectors, replace them with a lithium battery smoke detector (a lithium battery will last the life of the detector).

Test Your Detectors


Test detectors once a month, following the manufacturer's directions, and replace batteries once a year, or whenever a detector "chirps" or "beeps" to signal low battery power. A good time to replace your smoke detector batteries is when you reset your clocks for daylight savings time. Never "borrow" a detector's battery for another use - a disabled detector can't save your life.

Teach Your Children


Make sure children know what an alarm is. Children must know:

  • Alarms warn them of danger.
  • Get out of the house immediately when they hear the sound of the alarm.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors are not toys and should not be played with.
Show your child how important these dangers are by testing your alarms every month.