Smoke Detectors – Where and How to Install Them


Can we all just agree that most of us never think of house fires or similar disasters until they strike? That said, preparation is important. In most if not all regions, you are legally required to install smoke detectors in residential areas, as they have the ability to improve the outcomes of house fires.

But, the real question is, how many smoke detectors do I need and where should they be mounted to keep your house and loved one safe in the event of an emergency?

How Does a Smoke Detector Work?

Let’s understand how a smoke detector actually works before we start discussing where to install fire alarms. Smoke detectors reduce the risk of fire damage and injuries. First and foremost, you need to understand that there are three kinds of smoke alarms:

  • A photoelectric detector: This smoke detector measures light the moment it hits the sensor, and is the best in detecting smoky fires.
  • An ionization detector: This smoke detector detects smoke once it enters the ionization chamber and neutralizes the ionized smoke particles. A drop in the electrical current activates its alarm and is the fastest to respond to flaming fires.
  • A dual-sensor detector: This smoke alarm is a combination of both a photoelectric and ionization detector.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors?

The best place to install smoke detectors is inside and outside of the bedrooms, and on each level of the house, and this includes the basement as well. The number of smoke detectors depends on the size of the house itself.

Dual-sensor smoke detectors have the ability to detect both types of initial fires. If you weren’t aware, smoke actually rises, thus mounting smoke detectors on ceilings is definitely the best option. However, if you want to mount smoke detectors on a wall, it’s advisable to install them 12 inches away from the ceiling.

Find a place to install smoke detectors that is away from air ducts, or anywhere that would hinder the smoke from reaching the detectors. That is why, if you were to connect all smoke detectors will offer you more protection. In other words, if one detector was to go off, all of the rest would go off as well.


It’s not uncommon for people to avoid installing a smoke detector in the kitchen as you always have the fear of false alarms. However, it’s extremely important to have a smoke detector installed in kitchens as most fires begin from there.

To reduce the risk of false alarms, you can install the detector a minimum of 10 feet away from the oven or stove. This might however be difficult in small kitchens, but you can place it outside the kitchen.


There should definitely be smoke detectors in bedrooms and outside them as well, like the hallway. If there aren’t a sufficient number of smoke detectors to install them in every area, you can locate one at the area outside the bedrooms where everyone can easily hear the alarm.

Interlinking both wireless and wired smoke detectors help in overcoming audibility issues. For instance, if a smoke detector is installed in the basements, and goes off in the middle of the night, having interconnected smoked detectors will sound like the ones on the first floor as well.


Never forget to install smoke detectors in the basement as well. Moreover, interlinking it is better to sound an alarm if there’s smoke in the basement.

How to Install Smoke Detectors?

Battery-powered smoke detectors are the easiest smart home security devices you can install. They come packed in a way that they are ready to be taken out of the box. That means all you have to do is install them.

You can simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to install the smoke detector, but we have decided to share the steps as the installation process for most of them are rather the same.

Here are the steps:

  • Unpack the smoke detectors packaging and read the instructions.
  • Install its battery or simply remove the tab from the battery to activate the smoke detector.
  • Select a spot on the ceiling or wall that is draft-free.
  • Start attaching the mounting bracket.
  • Make sure to test the detector. It should sound like a loud alarm that can be heard easily within the house.

Wires smoke detectors might require an electrician who can make connections and interconnect them.


Well, there you go! We have shared everything you should know about where and how to install smoke detectors to make it easy for you!

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