Smoke detectors have saved countless lives over the years and are by far the most affordable investment you can make when it comes to protecting you and your family from an accidental fire. Even though they significantly reduce any threat caused by house fires, not placing them in an ideal location can minimize their effectiveness.
It is important to realise that all smoke detectors are different and that time should be invested in understanding exactly how they work by combing through the user manual. Consider a crisis test or press your smoke detector’s test button to evaluate if your device is working properly every month. Just be sure to inform your family and your monitoring security company beforehand.
The Best Locations
Even though a trial run will be able to tell you if your device is working, the right location will ensure consistent results with every emergency. Interconnected smoke alarms have also shown to be more effective in alerting occupants to a fire, which makes knowing where to place each detector of vital importance.
Fires can go completely undetected whilst you are sleeping. People are rarely awoken by strange or dangerous scents which can put one at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you are submitted to continual smoke inhalation. Installing a smoke detector in your bedroom that is at least 92 centimetres away from an HVAC or ceiling fan, can help keep you safe while you sleep.
Install your basement smoke detector on the ceiling but close to the stairway that leads to the upper floor. Remember to put your detector within 30 centimetres or less of where the ceiling and wall converge. This area is especially important to monitor if you use it to store heating equipment like a furnace or an oil burner.
On every floor
Having a smoke detector on every floor will help to alert everyone of a fire if you interconnect all your smoke alarms. This will help speed up your evacuation time thereby ensuring that everyone gets out of the house safely. Be sure to mount your detectors high on the walls or near the ceiling as this will enhance their effectiveness in detecting CO2 emissions or heat.
If you are someone that enjoys sitting close to a fire in winter, then it would be best to put a fire detector in your family room. To make sure you minimize the chance of a false alarm put your detector at least 3 metres away from the fireplace.
Place smoke detectors in locations that connect different levels of your house. This will help you to keep tabs on the places that provide the least resistance when it comes to the path that rising smoke takes. Be sure to place smoke alarms far away from windows or doors as they may interfere with your device’s smoke detecting abilities.
Near the kitchen
Although you shouldn’t place your smoke detector near your stove, you are still in need of fire protection when it comes to the room in your house that needs it most. Fire detectors that are at least 3 meters away from a cooking appliance will help you to enjoy your kitchen without risking unwanted accidents.
The Worst Locations
Some locations have proven not to be compatible with smoke detectors. If you want to make sure you are not constantly interrupted by false alarms in the early hours of the morning, then you should never install a fire detector in the following places.
Steam often builds up fast when making use of a bathroom which can easily trigger a smoke detector. The humidity in damp environments is also known for damaging electronic devices. If you really want to install a smoke alarm near your bathroom make sure it is placed at least 9 metres away from the entrance.
Near fluorescent lights
The flickering and infrared signals generated by a compact fluorescent light can cause false alarms or be the catalyst behind a defective smoke detector. If you don’t want to replace your light bulbs make sure your smoke alarm is placed at least 30 centimetres away from this type of lighting.
Near bugs or dusty rooms
Any small insects or bugs may get stuck in the opening that leads to the sensing chamber of your smoke detector. This can cause false alarms and will require you to open up your fire alarm to clean it out.
If you are remodelling it would be best to switch off all fire detectors as enormous amounts of dust can also set off the alarm.
Smoke detectors may seem like a nuisance if they regularly go off when there is no real cause for concern. That’s why finding out exactly where you should place them will help to minimize any inconvenience and ultimately ensure the safety of your entire household.