How many smoke detectors should my home have?

Dec 1, 2022

Every home must be equipped with smoke detectors. This is non-negotiable when it comes to safety. These devices reduce your family’s risk of fire-related injuries and deaths, saving lives every year.

Smoke alarms are your first line of defense against a house fire as they provide you with an early alert. This is a vital signal that allows for members of the house to evacuate before the fire grows and makes evacuating more challenging, or impossible.

Fire research has also found that today’s modern furnishing materials can cause fires to spread much more rapidly than old furniture made from natural materials. This is another reason why it is extremely important to ensure your home has a sufficient number of smoke detectors located in the correct locations.


How many does my home need?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home. This includes your basement. One smoke detector should also be installed inside of every bedroom, as well as outside of each sleeping area.

Not only do you need an adequate number of smoke alarms in each room, they must also be installed properly. Smoke detectors should be installed at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances in the kitchen. This is to decrease the number of false alarms. Who wants to hear that loud noise for no reason anyway?

Since smoke rises, you will also want to install the detectors as high as possible on the wall, or if possible, on your ceiling. If you’re placing the detector on a wall, remember that smoke alarms should not be installed more than 12 inches away from the ceiling. If you’re opting for a battery operated alarm on the wall, note that they should not be too close to vents, ceiling fans or windows. This is to ensure they function to their full potential.

It is also crucial that you maintain your smoke detectors. You should be testing these devices monthly to ensure they are working effectively, and also replacing the batteries every six months. For cleaning your alarms, follow the manufacturer’s instructions which will be included in the package or can be found online.


Can I add more smoke detectors to my new home?

If you’ve just moved into a home with a set number of hardwired smoke detectors, this doesn’t mean that your house is at its max. You are entitled to place additional battery-operated smoke alarms for your personal comfort. It’s important to note that if you install new smoke alarms, they should be placed in the NFPA’s recommended areas to ensure the entirety of your home is protected.

Being a homeowner comes with the responsibility of making your home a safe space. Installing the right amount of smoke detectors in the right places is an important step to ensuring protection. House fires present serious danger to family members, but can also be prevented with the right safety precautions.

If you are unsure of how or where to install your home’s new smoke detectors, contact AJ’s Electrical. We save you the stress of attempting a tricky electrical installation, and provide guaranteed high quality work and service while we’re at it!


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