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Smoke alarm guidelines


Last updated 5/29/2008 at Noon

Where to install smoke alarms:

• One smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and/or inside if you sleep with the door closed

• One smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement

• If no bedrooms on a floor install the smoke alarm in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms. In stairways with no doors, position smoke alarm anywhere in the path of moving smoke

• In closed stairways always position smoke alarm at the bottom of the stairway

• Optional: dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, hallways

Where not to install smoke alarms:

• Kitchens

• Bathrooms

• Garages

• Attics

• Unheated spaces where humidity and temperature changes might affect smoke alarm’s operation

• Near a window

• Near a door

• Near a forced-air register where drafts could interfere with the smoke alarm’s operation

Where to mount a smoke alarm:

• High on a wall or on the ceiling

• Four to 12 inches from the corner of the wall and the ceiling

• Pitched ceilings, at the highest point in the room

• Unfinished areas (mount on the bottom of a joist)

• If a ceiling is more than 10 feet high, it is okay to install the smoke alarm on the wall


• Test every smoke alarm at least once every month

• Change the batteries twice a year. Good idea to change the batteries during daylight savings time


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