Back Button

How Far Should a Smoke Detector Be Placed From a Recessed Light?

Lexi Sorenson

Putting your smoke detector in the right place is vital.

Placement of Smoke Detectors Is Important

It's important to put your fire alarms close to the area where fires usually start (which is the living room) and near bedrooms to wake up people asleep at night. Ideally, you should place a smoke detector/alarm as close to the center of the room on the ceiling as possible.

Certain Areas Can Give Off False Alarms

Placing your alarm too close to a kitchen, bathroom, garage, window or door can cause the alarm to go off at unnecessary times. The same is true for fluorescent light fixtures, which may generate electrical noise and cause false alarms, or excessively hot lights, which could cause the alarm to function improperly.

Bottom Line

A safe location takes precedence over places that might give a false reading; for example, it's better to place your smoke alarm in the center of the room if it's a one-bedroom apartment, even if it's near the kitchen. However, keep your smoke alarm at least 12 inches (or 30cm) away from a recessed light.