Questions and Answers
Why do I need a smoke detector? Won't I just wake up from the
smell of smoke?
No, you cannot smell smoke while you sleep. In fact, the Carbon
Monoxide present in the smoke will lull you into a deeper slumber.
Q: Do smoke detectors really work?
YES! According to statistics from the National Fire Protection
Association, you are twice as likely to survive a fire in your
home if you have properly installed and maintained smoke detectors.
Q: How many smoke detectors do I need?
As a minimum, you should have at least one smoke detector on each
level of your home, and outside each sleeping area. For added
protection, install a smoke detector inside each sleeping area
Q: There are so many types of smoke detectors available. Which
one should I buy?
Make sure you buy a smoke detector that is listed by an independent
testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL.) All
listed smoke detectors on the market today provide adequate warning
Q: Where should my smoke detector be mounted, on the ceiling or
on the wall?
The ceiling is the best location for the detector, but you can
also mount it high on a wall. If you choose to mount it on the
ceiling, make sure it is at least 4 inches away from the nearest
wall. If you mount the detector on the wall, mount it so that
the top of the detector is between 4 and 6 inches from the ceiling.
Q: How often do I need to change the batteries in my smoke detector?
To ensure that you always have operable batteries in your smoke
detector, it is recommended that you change the batteries twice
a year. A good way to remember when to replace them is to change
them when you change your clocks for daylight savings time. Use
only the types of batteries recommend on the detector.
Q: Do smoke detectors ever need replacing?
Yes. All smoke detectors, including hard wired ones, need to be
replaced when they are 10 years old. After 10 years, the detectors
may not operate properly in the event of a fire.
Q: Do I need to test my smoke detector, and how often?
You should test your detector monthly, be pressing the "Test"
button on the unit. Never use real smoke to test the detector.
Q: What if my smoke detector sounds when I cook?
If your smoke detector sounds when you cook, you can usually silence
it by fanning it with a newspaper to clear smoke from the chamber.
Do Not remove the batteries. You could forget to replace them.
If normal cooking activity sets the detector off regularly, you
may need to reposition it further away from your kitchen. If moving
the detector is not possible, you can also replace it with one
that has a momentary silence button, designed specifically for
Q: Is there anything else I need to know about smoke detectors?
Yes. Dust can accumulate and decrease the detector's sensitivity.
Clean your smoke detectors annually by vacuuming them out.