Smoke Detectors–Installation & Maintenance

While the U.S. Fire Administration will tell you to check your smoke detector batteries monthly, an old home maintenance tip says to use the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time twice a year as a reminder to check your smoke detectors. This year, Daylight Savings Time ends on November 6th. Time to check your smoke detectors.

First, do you have smoke detectors installed? Do you have enough? You should have a detector installed within 15 feet of the entrance to every bedroom in the house. Mine is right outside the door. If you have a long hallway, a smoke detector should be installed every thirty feet. You also need smoke detectors on each level of the home, including the basement, and attic, if you have any electrical outlets or appliances in the attic. It is also good to install a smoke detector at the top of stairwells – the stairwell acts as a chimney of sorts and sends the smoke to the top. It is best not to install one in the kitchen, due to false alarms from burning food. However, you should install one near the kitchen, as there are many appliances that could spark a fire.

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