Installation & Maintenance

Where To Install Smoke Detectors

The City of Fairfield Fire Department recommends that every home have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area. One detector in a short hallway outside the bedroom area is usually adequate. Hallways longer than 30 feet should have one at each end. For maximum protection, install a detector in each bedroom.

On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms or family rooms. Smoke detectors are not recommended for kitchens.

Where to Install Smoke Detectors in Existing Homes
Where to Install Smoke Detectors in New Construction or Remodels
Smoke Detector Key

New homes constructed within the City of Fairfield are required to have a smoke detector installed on each floor, and a smoke detector must be installed within 10 feet of each bedroom.

Be sure to keep the detector away from fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms. Place smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell and at the end of each long hallway.

If you should put a smoke detector in your kitchen, be sure to keep it away from cooking fumes or smoking areas.

How To Install Smoke Detectors

You can mount many detectors by yourself, but those connected to your household wiring should have their own separate circuit and be installed by a professional electrician.

If you mount your detector on the ceiling, be sure to keep it at least 18 inches away from dead air space near walls and corners. If you mount it on the wall, place it 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling and away from corners. Keep them high because smoke rises.

Never place them any closer than 3 feet from an air register that might recirculate smoke. Don’t place them near doorways or windows where drafts could impair the detector operation. Don’t place them on an uninsulated exterior wall or ceiling. Temperature extremes can affect the batteries.

Maintaining Your Smoke Detector

  • Keeping smoke detectors in good condition is easy. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Be sure to replace the batteries every 6 months, or as needed. Most models will make a chirping, popping or beeping sound when the battery is losing its charge. When this sound is heard, install a fresh battery, preferably an alkaline type.
  • Replace bulbs every 3 years or as needed. Keep extras handy.
  • Check the smoke detector every 30 days by releasing smoke or pushing the test button.
  • Clean the detector face and grillwork often to remove dust and grease.
  • Never paint a smoke detector, as it will hamper its function.
  • Check your detector if you’ve been away from home.

Replace Old Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. After 10 years, your smoke detector will have been working consecutively for 87,000 hours. No other appliance in your home works this long. If you do not know how old your smoke detector is, or if it is 10 years or older, replace it as soon as possible.