If there was a fire in your home, would you know about it in time? Two-thirds of fire-related deaths in the United States happened in homes with faulty alarms or homes that did not have smoke detectors. Having properly placed smoke detectors in the home can be the difference between life and death.

What’s the Purpose of Smoke Detectors in the Home?

Smoke detectors are important for the safety of your house, belongings, and family members. When detectors are properly located and maintained, they sound an alarm at the first sign of smoke. Without this warning, it’s more difficult to escape when a fire spreads quickly. Smoke detectors in the home are essential early-warning tools.

Why is Smoke Detector Placement a Concern?

Even if you already have smoke detectors in your home, proper smoke detector placement is just as crucial to safety. Proper smoke detector placement ensures an alarm will sound no matter where the fire breaks out and that it will go off as early as possible.

What is the Correct Placement for Smoke Detectors in the Home?

Smoke detectors are small devices that can easily be installed with basic tools from your toolbox. Here are some pointers for choosing where to install smoke detectors in your home.

  • There should be at least one detector on each floor of your home. This includes the basement and the attic.
  • Smoke detectors should be located in each bedroom and in the hallway outside the bedrooms.
  • Install a detector 10 feet away from cooking areas.
  • The room with the clothes dryer should have a smoke detector in case of a dryer lint fire.
  • Mount detectors on the ceiling at least 3 feet away from windows or vents.
  • Because smoke rises, detectors on the wall should be placed between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.

Why are Carbon Monoxide Detectors Important and Where Should They be Placed?

Carbon monoxide is known as a “silent killer” because it is a toxic, colorless, and odorless gas. The gas enters the body via the lungs and reduces the amount of oxygen carried by the hemoglobin in red blood cells. This results in coma, brain damage, and even death. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous because it is so difficult to detect.

Carbon monoxide blends with your home’s air and does not rise like smoke. This means detectors should be located about 5 feet from the ground to get the best reading. Place these detectors near sleeping areas, 10 – 20 feet from gas-powered stoves or furnaces, within 10 feet of an attached garage, and on every floor of your home.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are important tools in alerting your family to harmful fires and dangerous fumes. Install these detectors properly to ensure your family, home, and belongings are protected and safe.

Esham Inspections offers home inspection services along the Delmarva Peninsula, including the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Sussex County, Delaware. Contact us to schedule an inspection of your property.