This site uses cookies and by using the site you are consenting to this. Find out why we use cookies and how to manage your settings HERE

Where to Position Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors?

Jun 11, 2021
Where to Position Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors?

On average, about 60 per cent of deaths from residential home fires are in houses with malfunctioning smoke and fire alarms or no alarms at all. Paying extra attention to fire safety by understanding the mechanics of smoke alarms, placing, and installing them appropriately can prevent an enormous tragedy from occurring.

Standard smoke detectors emit a loud noise when they sense danger. Smart smoke and fire alarms can alert you of fire even if you aren’t home.

The positioning of your fire and smoke alarms is crucial to provide effective detection in the event of a fire. Usually, these devices have instructions within the supplied user manual. However, please find below some useful tips to aid the process of placing your detectors within the home. 

So, what are the best places throughout your house to place the detectors?


General Recommendations

  • Smoke rises, so make sure to mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. Wall-mounted detectors should be placed not more than 30 centimetres away from the ceiling.
  • Do not position the alarms near doors and windows where drafts may interfere with their operation.
  • Avoid decorating the devices as paint and stickers might keep the alarms from working.
  • To provide the most fire safety at home it is better to interconnect all smoke alarms using wireless or wired technology. A hardwired alarm system is the best option, although if you must rely on battery-operated devices, do not forget to replace the batteries every six months.


Flat Ceiling

Ideally, the alarms should be installed in the centre of it at least 30 centimetres away from light fittings and walls. Light fittings and decorative elements can obstruct heat and smoke from entering the sensor chamber.

If installing a smoke detector on the ceiling is not possible, it can be mounted up to 57 centimetres below it. 


Sloped Ceiling

If you have a sloped ceiling, you have to measure the position of a smoke alarm vertically from the peak. Fire and smoke alarms can be installed within 60 centimetres of the peak. It is necessary to place the alarm as central to the ceiling as possible.


On Every Floor, Attic and Basement

There should be at least one smoke alarm ready to go on each floor, attic and basement. Smoke alarms in the basement should be placed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next floor.


In Every Bedroom 

Install an alarm in or outside of every bedroom and in the hallways. Thus, they will wake you up if a fire starts while your family is sleeping. Keep a fire escape ladder in the bedrooms on the top floor. 


On Stairways

Each stair should have a fire detector, including the stairs leading to the basement or attic. Smoke detectors placed on the staircase will alert your family members upstairs or downstairs in the event of a fire. 


Large Rooms and Kitchen

Ensure fire safety in every place where your family and friends gather, such as the kitchen and living room, especially if you have a fireplace there.

By the way, your kitchen is the most vulnerable due to the heat, leftover cooking grease, and flammable materials, such as towels and curtains. The detectors should be positioned at least 3 meters from a cooking appliance to avoid false alarms when cooking.


Mounting a smoke detector and a fire alarm in the wrong place may lead to disastrous effects on your home fire safety. Install an alarm in every room there is, including basement, attic, and garage.

Avoid painting and decoration your safety devices. Also, make sure they are not obstructed in any way. Remember that heat and smoke alarms may require a different positioning strategy.  If you have some doubts, contact our professional PowerRight team to help you out.

Read Next...