How to Locate the Best Spot to Install a Smoke Detector

Most house fires occur at night, when the occupants are sleeping. A smoke detector can alert you of a fire, with an alarm loud enough to wake even the most sound sleepers. They work by sensing rising smoke and heat, and save many lives each year. However, they would probably save even more lives if more people knew the best places to install them around their home. No one wants to think about the possibility of a fire occurring in their home, but it is something that should be planned against. Having smoke detectors properly located in the best spots in your house can help you survive that nightmare, should it ever occur.

Locate the Best Spot to Install a Smoke Detector
  1. Understand that smoke and heat from fires rises. Therefore you want to place smoke detectors up high, either on a ceiling or at the top of a wall, no more than 12 inches below the ceiling.

  2. Determine whether or not the home needing smoke detectors is a ranch or a multi-level house. Multi-level homes will require smoke detectors on all levels of the house.

  3. Place a smoke detector within 15 feet of the house's bedrooms. This way the tenenants of the house will be awakened even if the door is closed. If there are particularly sound sleepers, in the house they should be placed even closer to the door.

  4. Avoid placing smoke detectors within three feet of any air registers that may suck smoke away from the smoke detector, rendering it useless.


  • Faulty smoke detectors do you no good. Make sure to check the batteries at least once a week.
  • Smoke detectors can only notify you of a potential fire, and cannot do anything about putting out a blaze. It is wise to have a fire extinguisher on each level of the house.
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