Where Should You Be Installing Smoke Detectors

smoke detectors

If there’s one thing that you would find in every American household, but don’t hear about it much often, it is a smoke detector or a smoke alarm as some would refer to it. It is pretty easy for household fires that start as something small, to spread so quickly across the place. That is because you would now find a lot of inflammable objects around a home, and with HVAC ventilation systems smoke and flames can spread faster despite doors being closed.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors

We have made it easier for you to decide where to put smoke detectors around your home – have a read!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, American citizens should ideally follow certain guidelines when it comes to installing smoke detectors or smoke alarms in their homes. It is understandable that installing smoke detectors in homes that don’t already have them can be an expense of its own – and although it would be an investment into your home, it can also be expensive, especially for those that live on rent. Ideally, the NFPA states that at minimum there should be smoke detectors in every bedroom; in sleeping areas for that, matter whether it is the living/bedroom of your loft or studio apartment or even the living area where one flat mate uses the couch to crash on.

Other than bedrooms and sleeping areas, where else should we be installing smoke detectors? The NFPA states that there should be at least one smoke detector in living rooms (otherwise referred to as family rooms), basements, and every floor level if the house is a multiple-story homes. There should be one installed on stairways as well. In kitchens, false alarms are always easily triggered but the key to preventing false alarms is to install a smoke detector approximately 10 feet away from stoves or ovens.

When it comes to the placement of smoke detectors, you would normally find them installed onto ceilings which is ideally where they should be because smoke always rises. For that reason only, if not the ceiling then smoke detectors should be placed around 12 inches from the ceiling, and if the ceiling is arched then approximately 3 to 4 feet away from the peak. Installing smoke detectors near windows and doors is never a good option because drafts can interrupt their operation.

How to Install Wired Smoke Detectors

Wired Smoke Detectors are what you should be aiming for, and that is because when one alarm is triggered, they all go off. So when it comes to warnings, these are your best bet as opposed to battery-operated ones that only function individually.

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how you can install wired smoke detectors in your home.

  1. Wired smoke detectors naturally would require you to connect them to the wiring in the power outlet. For this, you would first have to shut off the power to the outlet from the main circuit breaker of your home. Once the power supply is off you can now begin installing your smoke detector.

  2. If there is already a smoke detector in place that you are planning on replacing, remove that first. Take the device out of its mounting plate and gently unplug the wiring from the back of the device.

  3. After removing its mounting plate you may have to install a new one for the new smoke detector. Hold the new mounting plate over the power outlet and mark the points where you would have to screw the plate in.

  4. Install the new mounting plate in place and gently take the wiring out of the opening of the plate to connect the new device.

  5. Once you have connected the wiring to the new device, place it into its mounting plate. You may have to gently push the device into the mounting plate for it to hold.

  6. When the device is fixed to the plate, you can turn the power to the outlet back on.

  7. The lights on the device would automatically switch on, signaling that your device is ready to work.

If at any point you are confused about the installation process, it is always recommended to refer to the instruction manual, or better yet call in for professional help if you’re not entirely sure how to work around electrical wires.

Maintaining Smoke Detectors

When it comes to maintaining your smoke detectors at home, it mostly revolves around the battery. Certain smoke detector variants are battery-operated, so those that have those installed in their homes probably have an idea of how annoying it can get when the ‘low battery’ alarm beeps every now and then. Replacing batteries as soon as possible can save your home from otherwise a lot of damage from what could be something that was controllable in the first place.

Referring to instruction manuals to learn how to maintain your device is also another way of maintaining your device. And if you tossed it out like most of us usually do, you can always look it up on the internet!

Painting over smoke detectors is also something that you should avoid at all costs. Paint, stickers, or any form of decorations can keep the alarm from doing the work it’s meant to do.


As suggested by the NFPA, there are set guidelines for homeowners to follow when installing smoke detectors in their homes. Keeping them functional can save your home from a lot of unwanted and damage that can definitely be avoided.

Final thoughts

Smoke detectors are an essential part of a home. It is recommended to have enough smoke detectors in your house to detect a fire. Just like video doorbells and smart cameras, smoke detectors also play a major role in keeping your house safe and secure.

Head on over to FirstEnergy Home at www.firstenergyhome.com and get a smart smoke detector for your home today!

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