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Installing Smoke Detectors — What You Need to Know

Installing Smoke Detectors — What You Need to Know

According to a report by the National Fire Protection Association on home fires, the rate of house-fire casualties in homes with smoke detectors was less than almost half the rate of house-fire casualties in homes without smoke detectors. So, without a doubt, installing smoke detectors is something that homeowners should not ignore. Smoke detectors are critical to protecting your home and family from fire-related accidents.

However, installing smoke detectors is not enough, and won’t guarantee a safer environment. A smoke detector installed incorrectly or not maintained properly can lose its usefulness. Therefore, for maximum safety, you must ensure that the smoke detectors in your home are properly installed and maintained regularly.

Installing Smoke Detectors in Your Home

If the smoke detectors in your home are more than 10 years old, or if your home does not have smoke detectors at all, you need to invest in new smoke detectors right away.

However, before you make the final purchase, perform thorough research about the variety of smoke detectors on the market. There are several brands out there, so pick the one that best suits your requirements and budget. Read the reviews of existing customers on online review sites and check the product ratings to make sure you’re purchasing the right product. This is not a time to skimp; make sure you get devices that are reliable.

Where to Place Smoke Detectors in Your Home

The layout of your home will determine how many smoke detectors you’ll need. However, the minimum you should buy is one per bedroom, one outside every sleeping space on every floor, and one on each floor of your home. Don’t skip the attics and basements. A good rule of thumb in terms of distance is that smoke detectors should be installed every 30 feet.

While installing smoke detectors, place each alarm on a flat part of the ceiling or wall; if possible in the center of the room. If you’re installing smoke detectors on the wall, make sure they’re placed about 6-12 inches below the ceiling.

Read the installation instructions carefully and make sure you follow them point over point. If you don’t prefer DIY installation, hire a professional to install the smoke detector.

For commercial buildings, the installation process gets a little challenging. Buildings comprising multiple smoke detectors need to have them interlinked into a common control panel. It’s also necessary to have a monitoring system in place to ensure the fire department is alerted in case of a fire emergency.

Maintaining the Smoke Detectors

After installing smoke detectors, gather your family members to test the device. Press the test button on every detector individually, and make sure all your family members are able to hear the fire alarm. You can go through the checklist provided by the U.S. Fire Administration to know more about the types of exercises you can add to your fire drill.

Maintaining your smoke detectors is as important as installing smoke detectors in your home. Here are some useful smoke detector maintenance tips:

  • Test the smoke detectors manually at least once a month. Also, verify that the sensor is working. If you’ve installed smoke detectors and fire alarms in areas that are hard to reach, be careful while climbing up to access them.
  • Change the batteries twice a year (daylight savings time is a great time).
  • Try to keep the smoke detectors clean. Trapped pollutants and dust can lead to the malfunctioning of your smoke detectors. An occasional vacuum cleaning can remove dust trapped in the interior as well as the exterior. If you want to clean the device thoroughly, remove it, disconnect the power, and remove the external covering. Using a dry cloth or vacuum cleaner, remove any dust that is visible.
  • Check the manufacturing date on every smoke detector unit and replace the devices one they approach the expiry date.

Tying Smoke Detectors Into Your Security System

Smoke detectors can and should be integrated into your home or commercial security system through the main panel of your professionally-installed system. Most of the home and commercial security systems are designed in a way that allows you to set up different detectors such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and heat detectors in one system.  When a smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide detector is tied into your security system, the Fire Department will be dispatched in the event of an alarm.

This is why you need a professional home or business security solution. Make sure that every device is functioning properly and keeping your important assets safe and secure.


At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

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