Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Smoke Detectors: How Many Is Too Many?

smoke detectorsIs there a correct number of smoke detectors you should install in your home? Not really. It’s more a matter of your home’s design, which will tell you how many smoke detectors you need. Placement is key for getting the most out of your smoke alarm if you ever have a fire emergency.

Say you have a two-story, three-bedroom house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should install a smoke alarm inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. If you have a basement, you would need one there too.

Follow these other tips for safe installation of your smoke detectors:

  • Smoke alarms should bear a label that proves they have been tested by a recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
  • On levels of the home without bedrooms, install detectors in a living room, den, or family room. Also install detectors near the stairway to the second floor.
  • Install basement alarms on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Minimize false alarms by installing detectors at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.
  • Mount smoke alarms not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling (measured from the top of the alarm). Remember, smoke rises, and you want the alarms high on walls.
  • For pitched ceilings, the alarm should be installed within 3 feet of the peak, but not in the apex of the peak.

Some additional tips:

  • Drafts can interfere with alarm operation, so do not install them near doors, windows, or HVAC ducts.
  • For optimum protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected so they all sound. Interconnected alarms should all be from the same manufacturer so they are compatible.
  • Test the alarms monthly with the test button.
  • Smoke alarms may not work right if they’re dirty. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
  • Change batteries at least once a year, following instructions.

For more on smoke detectors, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide quality HVAC repairs, maintenance, and installations in Yuma and the surrounding area.