- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to sure the alarm is working.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Difference Between Monitored and Regular Smoke Detectors
When located on all levels of a residence and in all bedrooms, monitored detectors provide the best kind of early warning fire protection. If they sense a fire developing, they signal an alarm control, which activates all evacuation horns throughout a residence and sends a fire alarm signal to the central station, which will notify the fire department. Monitored detectors provide fire protection when you are home or away. As part of a home security system, monitored detectors provide both an AC primary power supply and a rechargeable back-up battery.
Regular Smoke Detectors
Battery-operated — Battery-operated detectors have two major problems. First, they are rarely connected to other detectors, remote warning devices or a central monitoring station. If they are located outside a bedroom, a sound sleeper may not hear them, especially if the bedroom door is closed or just partially open. If detectors are located on a different level of the home than the bedroom level, then the likelihood they will wake up sleeping family members is further diminished. A second problem with battery-operated detectors is their batteries—if they are not periodically replaced, the detectors will not work! Too many fire deaths occur in homes where detectors fail to function because their batteries are dead, disconnected or removed.
AC Powered Detectors — Many AC powered detectors are not connected to other detectors or remote warning devices. Even those that are only connected to other devices can provide a local warning of fire. If no one is home, a fire can develop without anyone taking action to protect valuable property.