Placing Smoke Alarms

Each state has its own residential smoke alarm requirements. Check with your local Fire Marshal to determine what regulations are in place in your state. Some general guidelines include: 


  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
  • Additional advisable locations include in or near living areas, at the bottom of the basement stairway, at the top of the first-to-second floor stairway, and at each end of hallways that over 30 feet in length.
  • Do not place alarms too close to kitchen appliances, fireplaces, or bathrooms as these may trigger false alarms.
  • Alarms located within 3 feet of doors, windows, ceiling fans, or heating appliances may not provide accurate warnings due to air circulation.
  • Keep detectors off of un-insulated exterior walls, such as those found in the basement or attic. These walls may fluctuate between temperature extremes, affecting the batteries and the units.
  • During the holiday season, place a smoke alarm in the same room as your Christmas tree or menorah.
  • Place ceiling-mounted units at least 4 inches from the nearest wall, preferably in the center of the ceiling. Do not place them in corners as smoke may not reach them.
  • Wall-mounted detectors should be placed 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling.


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