Smoke Detectors

Detector Checklist
  • Purchase
    Smoke detectors are inexpensive and are required by law in many localities. Check local codes and regulations before purchasing a smoke detector because some codes require specific types of detectors.
  • Installation
    Read the instructions that come with the detector for advice on the best place for installation. Detectors should be located near bedrooms with at least one on every floor. Smoke detectors are placed either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall. Install smoke detectors away from air vents or registers; high air flow or “dead” spots should be avoided.
  • Maintenance and Testing
    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance. Smoke detectors can save lives, but only if properly installed and maintained. Smoke detectors should be tested according to manufacturer’s instructions on a regular basis (at least once a month) and kept in working condition at all times.
  • Battery Replacement
    Replace the battery annually, or when a “chirping” sound is heard.
  • Never Disconnect
    Never disconnect a detector. Consider relocating the detector rather than disconnecting it if it is subject to nuisance alarms, e.g. from cooking. Never disconnect batteries.
  • Clean
    Follow the manufacturer’s instructions about cleaning. Excessive dust, grease or other material in the detector may cause it to operate abnormally. Vacuum the grill work of the detector.
  • Listen
    The detector has a distinct warning signal that can be heard whether asleep or awake.