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Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke Detector

After moving into a new home, the homeowner should consider replacing all of the smoke/fire detectors in the entire house. The home should have functioning smoke detectors. They should be wired to a power source and include a backup battery.

Smoke detectors do not last forever. They should be replaced according to the manufacturers’ recommendations. The homeowner should replace the detector’s batteries every year.

The homeowner should periodically check the operation of all smoke detectors by pushing their test buttons. Stairs and hallways are the appropriate locations for smoke detectors. They should be located on or near the ceiling, near the heads of stairs, and away from corners.

Current standards require a smoke detector in each sleeping room and in hallways adjacent to the sleeping rooms.

Smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

  • In each bedroom.

  • Outside each bedroom in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

  • On each additional story of the house, including basements and habitable attics and not including crawlspaces and uninhabitable attics.

  • Smoke alarms should be installed at least 3 feet horizontally from the door or opening of a bathroom that contains a bathtub or shower.

Smoke alarms should not be installed near cooking appliances.

The smoke alarms should be interconnected in such a way that if one is activated, all of the alarms are activated. I like to see the combination of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. And the alarm devices should be powered by electricity and have battery back-up.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in a house that has a fuel-fired appliance, and where the house has an attached garage with an opening that communicates with the house - like a doorway.

Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed outside of each bedroom. If there’s a fuel-boring appliance in a bedroom or its attached bathroom, then a carbon monoxide alarm should be installed within the bedroom.

I suggest checking your batteries and testing your detectors twice per year. I think the best time to remember is daylight savings start and end. Check out our YouTube channel to so a video on how to test your detectors and replace the batteries. To schedule an inspection, visit our services page.


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