Every home and apartment should be protected by smoke alarms. During the past two years, 42 people have died in home and apartment fires in California.
Key Fact: In every single fatal case, there was NO working smoke alarm in the home
Smoke Alarm Basics
Place one smoke alarm on each level of the house near the stairs, including entrances to the attic or basement if you have one.
Install one smoke alarm in each common area, such as a living room or dining room. Avoid placing the alarm near a fireplace, stove or other appliance that typically generates safe amounts of smoke and heat.
Place one alarm in each bedroom or in the hallway in front of adjoining bedrooms.
Installing Smoke Alarms
Grab your ladder and mount smoke alarms high – on a wall or on the ceiling – though the ceiling mount is preferable, as they will trigger more effectively.
When attaching a smoke alarm to the wall, place it 4.5” from the ceiling. When mounting to the ceiling, mount alarms at least 4” from the wall. Smoke rises, so select the highest point on the ceiling.
Avoid mounting smoke alarms near windows or doors, where smoke can escape before triggering the alarm.
Avoid mounting smoke alarms overhead in kitchens, dining rooms or living rooms. Smoke and steam from cooking, fireplaces, candles and so on can cause false alarms.
Follow the directions on the package for mounting the smoke alarm once you’ve chosen the general area for the alarm. You might need a drill and a screwdriver.
Make sure a qualified electrician mounts the device if you choose to go with an alarm that will be hardwired to your home’s electrical system.