Where to Place Smoke Detectors

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 38% of home fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke detectors, and 21% of home fire deaths occurred in homes with smoke detectors that did not work.  Smoke detectors are an integral part of a home’s safety. It is important to have working smoke alarms installed properly throughout your house to alert you and your family of any potential fire hazards.

NFPA Code for Smoke Detector Placement


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires a minimum installation of one smoke alarm in:

  • Every bedroom
  • Outside every sleeping area
  • Every level of your home

Tips for Where to Place Your Smoke Detector


Install smoke detectors in:

  1. Living Rooms
  2. Bedrooms
  3. Outside Bedrooms
  4. Dens
  5. Basements
  6. Hallways
  7. Top of Stairs
  8. Utility Rooms
  9. Kitchens

Install smoke detectors at least 10 feet from cooking appliances


Ceiling mounted smoke alarms should be at least 4 inches away from any wall


Wall mounted smoke alarms should be at least 4 inches, but not more than 12 inches, below the ceiling


Smoke detectors mounted in pitched ceilings should be at least 4 inches from the peak, but no more than 3 feet away.

Do Not Install Your Smoke Detector In These Places

  • Near windows, doors, air ducts

    Draft and/or wind that enter can interfere with the smoke detector’s operations.

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  • Above cooking appliances

    The heat from cooking appliances can set off smoke detectors.

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  • Above a furnace or fireplace

    The heat from furnace or fireplace can set off smoke detectors.

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  • Garages

    Garages are usually either below or above the temperature range the detector is designed for.

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  • Bathrooms with showers

    Mist particles from the shower can cause the smoke detector is go off.

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  • Dusty rooms

    Dust particles can set off the smoke detector.

  • Smoke Detector Diagram

    Know the do’s and dont’s of installing your smoke detectors!


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