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Video:How to Install a Smoke Detector

with Gretchen Siegchrist

If you want to protect yourself and your family, you need a smoke detector in every room of your home. Here's everything you need to know to properly install a smoke detector.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Install a Smoke Detector

Location of Smoke Detectors

The most important thing in installing a smoke detector is to choose the right location or locations.

It is important to have smoke detectors in or near every bedroom in a house, so that you will be woken up if a fire occurs at night.

Either place a smoke detector in each room, or in a common hallway that connects to every room.

You should avoid locating a smoke detector in the kitchen or bathroom. A false alarm could easily be triggered by smoke from cooking or steam from hot water.

Instead, place a smoke detector in a room adjacent to the cooking. That way, it will alert you to any kitchen fires, but will not go off during your day to day cooking.

Avoid Windows and Exterior Doors

In selecting a location within a room, avoid placing the smoke detector close to any exterior doors or windows.

Smoke will escape through the windows, and may be less likely to trigger the alarm during a fire.

Smoke rises, so you want to install the smoke detectors either high up on a wall or on the ceiling. The ideal location is about four to six inches from where the ceiling and wall meet.

Installing Smoke Detectors

For the actual installation you will need a stepladder and a screwdriver or drill. Smoke detectors should come with the necessary hardware for mounting, as well as instructions you can follow.

Once it is installed, you should test the smoke detector monthly, and change the batteries twice a year. It is recommended that you do this when you reset your clocks in the spring and fall to help you keep on a regular schedule.
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