How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need?
Fire alarms in the home failed to alert UK occupants to a fire on a third of occasions, despite there being at least one fire alarm present in 88% of UK households. The main reason for this was that the smoke detector(s) were out of range.
The placement of your smoke detectors is of critical importance — it could mean the difference between life and death.
This article will discuss how many smoke detectors you should have in your home and where they should and shouldn’t be situated.
How many smoke detectors should you have?
Minimum coverage for smoke detectors is one on every level, including the basement, and every bedroom. This means that a two-storey house with three bedrooms and a basement should have a minimum of six smoke detectors.
Where in your home should you place your smoke detectors?
- The smoke detectors on each level that aren’t in the bedroom should be located in the hallway or on the landing.
- The smoke detector should ideally be placed in the centre of the ceiling of each room, though they can also be placed on the wall. If placing a smoke detector on the wall, ensure that is positioned between 4 and 12 inches away from where the wall and ceiling meet.
- Contrary to popular belief, placing a smoke alarm in a kitchen is not typically recommended, as it can easily be set off by harmless smoke/steam from cooking. If you do wish to place a smoke alarm in the kitchen, ensure they are placed at least 10 metres away from cooking appliances to reduce the chances of false alarms.
Where in your home should you NOT place your smoke detectors?
- For similar reasons as kitchens, we don’t recommend placing your smoke detector in the bathrooms. The steam from a hot shower or bath might trigger your fire alarm.
- Do not place smoke detectors too near to vents or windows, as they may not be able to pick up on smoke if it is being mixed with fresh air from the window.
- Do not place smoke detectors on the wall any lower than 12 inches below the line where the wall meets the ceiling.
- Avoid dusty or dirty areas, such as the garage or attic, as they can prevent a smoke detector from functioning correctly.
How often should you test your smoke detectors?
The typical smoke detector has a lifespan of around ten years. Every ten years you should seek a replacement. You should also test your alarm monthly — simply press the button on your alarm to test it.
AAI Security Systems is your one-stop for all fire and security needs. Serving London & the Home Counties, AAI has been protecting the capital as one of London’s premier security alarm specialists for over 30 years. Among our extensive range of products and services are our smoke detectors and fire alarm systems. Our team of experts will assess your property and ensure that all smoke detectors and fire alarms are fitted in the optimum position to maximise fire safety. If you’d like to enquire about any of our services, get in touch with our team today.