Smoke alarm placement and installation is the first step to a safer home. The NFPA recommends placing a smoke alarm inside each bedroom and outside of the sleeping area. You should also have a smoke detector on each floor of your home, including the basement. For smoke alarms on floors without sleeping areas, mount your detector in living and common areas and/or near your stairway to an upper floor. Remember to place your smoke detector at least ten feet away from your oven and stove to prevent false alarms. In your basement, mount your smoke alarm on the ceiling above the bottom of the stairway to the first floor.
Mount your smoke alarms high on your walls or on ceilings since smoke rises. If you have pitched ceilings, mount the alarm within three feet of the top of the ceiling, but not at the peak. If you’re not sure, the diagram on the NFPA page is very helpful. Your smoke alarms should also be mounted away from windows, doors, and vents.
Once you’ve installed your smoke alarms, test and clean them regularly to ensure they are in good working order. According to the Red Cross and the U.S. Fire Administration, a working smoke detector in the home lowers the chances of fire death by approximately 50%.