Smoke detectors are important safety items for your home. They provide an early alert in case of fire, allowing you and your family time to escape from a dangerous situation. Let’s look at the best locations for smoke detector placement in the home.


Cooking fires are are a common type of house fire. However, the kitchen smoke detector tends to get uninstalled or deactivated because of false alarms. To help prevent false alarms caused by cooking, install the detector 10 to 12 feet away from your cooking appliances.

Smoke Detector Placement in the Bedroom

Because family members tend to be less alert in the bedrooms, each sleeping area should have a smoke detector installed there. These devices will provide an immediate alarm if a fire breaks out in a bedroom.

It’s important to have a detector installed in the hallway outside the bedroom area. This will warn sleeping family members of danger, in case a fire starts elsewhere in the home.

Smoke Detectors in Other Areas of the Home

The combination of heat from the dryer and lint from clothing can lead to a fire. Make sure your home also has a smoke detector in the laundry room.

Because paint, gasoline, and other flammable household chemicals are often stored in the garage, install a smoke detector there. Near the furnace, in the basement and attic, and inside any outbuildings are also places you’ll want to have functional smoke detecting devices.

General Recommendations for Smoke Detector Placement

Every level of a home should have at least one smoke detecting device. Place smoke detectors on the ceiling. If this isn’t possible, install the device high on the wall, within 12 inches of the ceiling.

Because airflow can affect how well these devices function, they shouldn’t be placed near doors, windows, ceiling fans, or HVAC vents. If you decide to make improvements or renovations to your home, be careful to not paint over the smoke detectors.

Test your devices monthly and replace the batteries in each detector twice every year, when Daylight Saving Time begins and ends. The entire device will need to be replaced after about 10 years.

Second Opinion Home Inspections provides home inspection services to Door and Kewaunee counties. Contact us to schedule an appointment.