Your heart races as smoke fills the halls, and questions run through your mind. Is everyone safe? Will you be safe?
Research shows that over 358,000 house fires occur yearly, and businesses in 2017 experienced property loss totaling $31 million or more due to fires.
Smoke detectors can help mitigate fire-related damage and injuries by alerting you to a blaze so you can respond as quickly as possible.
You may ask, “Where should smoke detectors be placed?”
Let’s explore the top tips for smoke detector placement in homes and businesses.
Where Should Smoke Detectors Be Placed?
Planning your fire detectors around your building’s main floors is an important part of fire preparedness.
Each floor should receive an alarm.
Today’s smoke detectors are linked, allowing all units installed in a home or office to sound when smoke triggers one to go off.
These detectors can identify other units’ sounds from afar.
Installing a unit on each floor will help ensure everyone in your building is alerted in the event of a fire.
What about your finished basement?
Detectors should go there, too.
Keep your basement’s detectors opposite any objects that generate heat, like generators and pumps.
Adding detectors near staircases is smart since heat and smoke travel through stairways when fires spread in homes and businesses.
Another essential tip for placing detectors in basements is to keep them 20 feet or more away from dryers, washing machines, and water heaters.
This will help prevent false alarms since these heavy-duty machines produce heat.
Installing Smoke Detectors in Rooms
Installing detectors in each big meeting space or bedroom is an essential step in smoke detector installation.
This will tell anybody in your business or home that smoke is nearby.
Adding an alarm outside each bedroom or meeting room will expand your coverage area.
Another excellent area for a detector is a wide hallway linking many rooms.
Remember to install detectors in large rooms like conference halls, too.
Cafeterias also need detectors.
How Many Alarms Should Be Installed in a Room?
A single alarm is usually sufficient for one room, but add two if the space is expansive.
Car dealership owners may want to install two to three detectors in their massive indoor showrooms, especially if these rooms span several hundred feet and have tall ceilings. Individual offices usually require one alarm each.
Suppose you install two alarms in a room.
Keep these detectors 20 feet or more away from one another to keep them from being redundant.
What About Pitched Ceilings and Walls?
A quality fire safety plan includes installing fire detectors on walls and pitched ceilings.
Pitched ceilings have slanted sides, so homeowners and business owners should install their detectors 36 inches from the highest points of the ceilings (called the apexes).
Placing a detector too close to your ceiling’s apex will prevent it from reading the whole room correctly since the slanted wall may block it from smoke or a fire.
Adding smoke alarms to walls adds an extra layer of safety by giving your space more fire detection coverage.
An alarm should be installed between four and 12 inches from your wall’s top area. Installing it any lower may lead to false alarms.
You may be tempted to install a smoke alarm in your garage.
Don’t. Vehicle emissions can easily trigger smoke alarms.
It’s okay to place a detector beside the door leading to the garage to maximize your home’s fire protection.
This will help warn your family of a serious fire threat from your garage.
Where Not to Place a Fire Alarm
Avoid placing smoke detectors in drafty areas of your home or business.
These include air ducts and windows.
Putting a smoke detector in a drafty location may make it difficult to identify where smoke is coming from due to the outside air.
Don’t place an alarm near a fan for the same reason.
Another vital fire safety tip is not placing smoke detectors near lights.
This is important even if your home’s or business building’s lights are newer and don’t generate much heat.
Yet another place that shouldn’t receive a fire alarm is a damp or humid place in your home.
Keep alarms more than ten feet from dishwashers, showers, and saunas.
No alarms should be installed in parts of a business or home that become extremely hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (under 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
These spaces include attics, unfinished basements, and outdoor rooms.
Alarms are not made to work in extreme temperature conditions.
Additional Fire Alarm Tips
Other important places to place fire alarms in a commercial building are your bathrooms and storage areas.
Any place where fires could start should receive a detector.
Remember to replace your smoke detectors’ batteries yearly.
Homeowners and business owners should also consider changing their fire alarm systems every decade.
Not exceeding ten years is important because an alarm sensor wears out over time, making it harder for the alarm to detect heat and smoke.
That makes them less reliable.
Cobwebs and dust on your alarms may make it hard for them to detect heat and smoke.
This is why cleaning your fire detectors is essential for business and home fire safety.
Vacuum dust from your alarm system’s detectors twice yearly to remove particles.
Test your alarms monthly by pushing their test buttons until they sound.
Contact your system’s manufacturer for additional instructions on maintaining your system for ten years.
How We Can Help With Fire Safety
You may wonder, “Where should smoke detectors be placed?”
The main floors and the basement are the best places to install smoke detectors in a home or business.
Fire alarms can go on walls and ceilings and should be kept away from equipment that produces heat, like a dryer.
Certizona Fire & Safety is your leading Phoenix, Arizona, provider of fire protection services.
We specialize in safety and fire equipment testing, repair, and inspection.
Let us evaluate or fix your fire alarm system, sprinkler system, or extinguisher. Get a free quote and take advantage of our specials today!
In need of fire protection services? Certizona Fire & Safety is here to serve you with high-quality fire protection and safety equipment services! Customer satisfaction is our top priority. Call (623) 227-2092 or request an online quote today!
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