Smoke detectors save lives. They sound an early alert in case of a house fire and give your family some extra time to escape. To keep your home and family safe from fire, make sure you have smoke detecting devices properly located throughout your home. Here are some tips for smoke detector placement.

General Rules for Smoke Detector Placement

It is recommended that you have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home, including the basement and attic. Install smoke detectors on the ceiling or high on the walls, within 12″ of the ceiling.

Test your smoke detectors every month and replace the batteries in the devices twice each year. A helpful way to remember this is to change the batteries at the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time.


Because family members are less alert when spending time in their bedrooms, place a smoke detector in each sleeping area. The alarm will sound immediately if a fire breaks out in that room. Also, install a device in the hallway outside the bedrooms. This will provide an early warning in case a fire occurs elsewhere in the home.

Laundry Room

House fires commonly occur in the laundry room due to the combination of dryer lint and the heat from the machine. Keep the dryer’s lint trap clean and make sure you have a working smoke detector in place.

In the Kitchen

The kitchen is the room where fires occur most frequently. Unfortunately, it is also the room where the smoke detector is commonly removed or deactivated. Install a detector 10 to 12 feet away from any cooking appliances. This will alert you to fire but will help reduce the chance of false alarms while cooking.

Other Places for Smoke Detector Placement

Make sure your home has smoke detectors in other important places. Install one in the garage and in the basement near the furnace. If your home has a fireplace, place a device on the wall or ceiling across from the fireplace.

In a multi-level home, install detectors on the ceiling at the bottom of the staircase. This way family members upstairs will be quickly alerted in case a fire breaks out on a lower floor.

Bronze Star Home Inspections serves the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a home inspection.