Smoke detectors come expensive. It’d be a shame not to utilize them to the fullest. Smoke detectors have a decent range they can cover objects in and inform you on fires. However, placing them better can help you make your house a lot safer, and potentially save lives by getting warnings at the earliest.
So the major question is where to place smoke detectors?
Here are the 5 best places to place smoke detectors inside your house. Mind you, you can go all out and place more at more locations. These are the bare minimum for a lot of people, but these are also among the most crucial spots you need to cover. So here goes.
When smoke enters through a doorway, it often enters strong and direct. Many recommend placing one at one or two feet “inside the doorway”. Inside the doorway here means inside the room your door separates from the remaining house. Keeping the placement of smoke alarm straight in alignment with the door can deliver the warning faster than placing it in the corner nearby, no matter how close it is.
A lot on people quip they only use their garage to store odd material like a toolbox or old stuff waiting to be trashed. However, a lot of these materials can be extremely combustible or flammable, and cause a major hazard. Plus, garages are often much more unsafe and a prime vulnerability when it comes to robbers, arsonists or even weather changes that may cause heat or short circuits.
Several families have a problem with their smoke detectors when they’re cooking dinner. It might seem like your humble smoke detector is paranoid about the flambe being an inferno, or the splutter of tomato puree in cooking oil being the sound of someone being cooked to death, but really, it could just be bad smoke detector placement. It is better to not keep the smoke detector right above your stove, lest it catch every waft of hot air and buzz its lungs out. Locating it around the center of the kitchen can be a good idea and give you good coverage. Also, prefer to leave your chimney or overhead smoke exhaust on to prevent a buildup of smoke that could trigger a false alarm.
Much like the kitchen, a fireplace is a place which is bound to send drafts on hot air and even some smoke. Most smoke detectors won’t bother you if the fuel you’re using is dry and proper, but it is still better to locate it such that they won’t trigger needlessly on a rainy day. Most people keep fireplaces in rooms that are usually big and spacious. In such a case, using multiple smoke detectors can be a good idea. Placing one 2 feet or slightly more from the fireplace, and another few several feet away can get you decent coverage.
The amount of smoke generated will depend upon the kind of material that catches fire and the volume of the room it is in since hot air and smoke can find the chimney an easier route to escape. It is, therefore, to put out the fire before leaving the house or going to bed, place fireproof and fire-retardant materials near the fireplace, and have your fireplace examined and kept well maintained by professionals.
Depending upon how big your halls are, you can place several smoke detectors. The halls are crucial, because most doors of other rooms often lead to the hallway or corridor, and thus they can catch any smoke from any room that might not have a working smoke detector. Also, the hallways and corridors are the primary exit routes in case of a fire hazard, so needless to say they must be kept safe. Smoke detectors can be placed a few feet apart along the central axis of the hallway. Living rooms can have a couple along the central length. Avoid placing any in the corners because they often register smoke later than when they’re located in the middle.
It is very important to read the user manual of your smoke detector. Different models have different maintenance requirements, different ranges they can detect smoke in and even different operating mechanisms. Placing smoke detectors in corners of rooms is usually a bad idea, unless the direction of air (and thus hot smoke) routes through that direction, like at the turn of a long-ish corridor, for example.
Your local fire safety department will only be too happy to review your house for fire safety standards and recommend any changes that can save you loss and misery. They can also help you devise an exit strategy in case of a fire mishap that you can then practice with your family so there is less chance of anyone being trapped. And stack up on batteries; you don’t want to run to the mart at the middle of the night to make the low-battery beeping indication stop.
There are a lot more resources you can look upon the internet about fire safety, conducting fire drills with your kids and fireproofing household materials. Give them a read and get your smoke detectors up.