A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacture’s instructions.   When installing a smoke alarm many factors influence where you place it, including how many are being installed.  Consider placing alarms along your escape path to assist in egress when visibility is limited.  In general you should place alarms in the center of a ceiling or, if placed on a wall, they should be 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling.


Install a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside the sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.


Replace smoke alarm batteries at least annually, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring.


Test all smoke alarms in your house once a month.


Do not place a smoke alarm too close to a kitchen appliance or fireplace, as this may result in nuisance alarms.


Avoid locating alarms near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or ceiling fans.


Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.  Smoke alarms don’t last forever.


Develop and practice a fire escape plan, because working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan increases your protection in case of a fire.

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