House fires can cause devastating damage, huge expenses, and sometimes personal injury or loss of life. Be prepared to respond quickly if a fire breaks out at home. When you know the proper places to install smoke detectors in your house, you’ll be more confident that you’ll be alerted quickly to a fire.

Strategic Places to Install Smoke Detectors

Some smoke detectors are battery-operated and will alert you to the presence of smoke as long as the batteries are in good condition. These devices emit a loud noise when smoke is detected, and some detectors also have a strobe light feature. Because a smoke detector can only detect smoke that reaches the device, these units must be installed strategically to increase the chance of early detection.

Install Smoke Detectors on Every Floor

If you have a multiple-story house or have a basement, install at least one smoke detector on each floor. These units are usually loud enough to be heard throughout the home, but it is best to link the units together. By linking the units, all devices in the home will emit an alarm if smoke is detected.

The Kitchen is One of the Places to Install a Detector

We’ve all heard a smoke detector sound a false alarm. A piece of burnt toast can result in the smoke detector going off. However, kitchen fires are common, so a detector is essential in this area.

The best placement for a detector in the kitchen is approximately 10 feet away from cooking appliances. This placement reduces the risk of false alarms while still sounding an alarm if there’s a kitchen fire. Install smoke detectors overhead, high on the wall or on the ceiling, since smoke naturally rises.

In the Laundry Room

The most common cause of laundry room fires is the dryer. When the dryer gets hot, the lint from the laundry can catch fire. In some cases, appliances have electrical shorts that lead to a fire. Laundry rooms are often located away from main living areas, so you may not know of a fire in your laundry room unless a smoke detector is placed there.

Install Smoke Detectors Where You Sleep

When you choose places to install smoke detectors at home, be sure to install a unit in the hallway outside the bedrooms and one in each bedroom. This ensures an alarm will sound regardless of whether a fire breaks out in a bedroom or outside of a bedroom.

As important as smoke detectors are, carbon monoxide detectors serve an equally vital role. Carbon monoxide can be generated by a malfunctioning HVAC system, cooking activities, or a fireplace. The gas is clear and odorless, so it is not easily detected. Without carbon monoxide detectors in your home, you may not be aware of this silent killer early enough.

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