Smoke Alarms at Home

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. 

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms. 
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound. 
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. 
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarm in the home. 
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on the wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove. 
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers. 
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 
Facts 
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. 
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level. Smoke alarms should be connected so when one sounds, they all sound. Most homes do not have this level of protection. 
  • Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working.