The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend several places to place a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
|Inside and outside every sleeping area
- On every floor, including finished attics and basements
Most state residential building codes require a smoke alarm on every level for your own protection. In homes with more than 1,000 sq. feet on one level, additional alarms may be required.
- At the top of a first-to-second floor stairway
In multi-story homes, a fire on one level can grow to dangerous levels before smoke has the chance to rise in a stairway.
- On a basement ceiling near the stair entry
Are there any rooms where installing a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is not recommended?
Some rooms in your home have conditions that are more likely to damage a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm or set off nuisance alarms.
Regulations recommend against installing combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms in these rooms:
If you want, you can install Nest Protect closer to cooking appliances than conventional smoke alarms. However, regulations suggest you place it at least 10 feet (3 meters), from cooktops or cooking appliances.
- Unfinished attics
Smoke alarms are not designed to work in extreme heat or cold, or in areas where smoke and dust are common as it could damage the sensors of the alarm.
As they are usually not heated or cooled, the actual temperatures experienced in a garage may go above or below the temperature range that the alarm has been designed for. The smoke from engine exhaust fumes can also cause nuisance alarms and damage the sensors of the smoke alarm.
- Furnace rooms, or any room that contains a water heater or a furnace.
To avoid nuisance alarms, carbon monoxide alarms should be 15-20 feet from water heaters or furnaces.
Can I just replace my existing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?
Although you may have existing alarms in your home, check the placement of those alarms for compliance with these or local guidelines. Older homes, especially, may not align with current regulations.