Smoke Detectors

 Smoke Detectors – Safety in the Home


  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.


  • Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms to provide enough protection.


  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds they all sound.


  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or a combination alarm (photoelectric and ionization) are recommended.


  • Install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling.


  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.


  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.


  •  Fire warning equipment is available to awaken people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This equipment uses strobe lights and vibration equipment (pillow or bed shakers) for people who are deaf and mixed-low-frequency signals for people who are hard of hearing. Some of this equipment is activated by the sound of the smoke alarm.



All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month using the test button.


NFPA Public Education Division • 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169

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