Smoke Alarm Safety at Home

Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
Safety Tips:
  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home , including the basement.
  • Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms to provide enough protection.
  • For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms (also known as "dual sensor alarms") are recommended.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • A smoke alarm installed within 10 to 20 feet of a cooking appliance must be a photoelectric type or have a hush feature, which temporarily reduces the sensitivity of the alarm.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. Combination smoke-carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced according to the manufacturer's recommendations.


For People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:

There are a lot of smoke alarm options for people with a hearing disability. The alarms that are available often use strobe lights and vibration notification. The vibration systems can be inserted into pillows or beds to alert the individual during nighttime hours. This equipment is activated by the sound of a standard smoke alarm.

In addition, for the hard of hearing, there are smoke alarms that emit a loud mixed, low pitch sound. These devices have been proven to work better for the elderly.

Contact your local Fire Chief or Fire Department for further assistance. 910-863-0170