Choosing an Alarm
- Buy smoke alarms that have been tested by an independent laboratory.
- Smoke alarms can be battery powered or wired to run on household current with a battery back-up.
Installing an Alarm
- One alarm is recommended for every level of a home.
- Place alarms within ten feet of the family sleeping area and within four to twelve inches of the ceiling. Place ceiling mounted alarms within four inches of the nearest wall.
- Avoid placing smoke alarms near kitchens, bathrooms, or garages in order to prevent nuisance alarms.
Maintaining Smoke Alarms
- Never disable an alarm. If it constantly “chirps” replace the battery or the alarm.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
- Replace batteries in an alkaline battery-powered alarm once a year. Many new alarms contain 10-year lithium powered batteries, which last the life of the unit.
- Replace smoke alarm units every ten years.
Planning an Escape Route
- Everyone should know at least two ways out of a room.
- Keep windows and doors free of objects that could block your path.
- Agree on an outside meeting place for family members once they escape.
- Once out, stay out! Use a neighbor’s phone to call 911.
- Practice your escape route at least two times a year.
Page last updated: April 19, 2017