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Smoke Detectors

Installing Smoke Alarms in Single-Family Residences

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the Smoke Alarms must be AC powered and interconnected. See "Agency Placement Recommendations" for details. For additional coverage, it is recommended that you install a Smoke Alarm in all rooms, halls, storage areas, finished attics, and basements, where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C). Make sure no door or other obstruction could keep smoke from reaching the Smoke Alarms. More specifically, install Smoke Alarms:

  • On every level of your home, including finished attics and basements.
  • Inside every bedroom, especially if people sleep with the door partly or completely closed.
  • In the hall near every sleeping area. If your home has multiple sleeping areas, install a unit in each. If a hall is more than 40 feet long (12 meters), install a unit at each end.
  • At the top of the first-to-second floor stairway, and at the bottom of the basement stairway.

Make sure fresh batteries are always installed, making sure to change them during Daylight Savings every spring and fall. If you need assistance, Cary Fire Protection District will install smoke detectors at no installation cost to you. The homeowner must supply the detector. (However, we can provide smoke detectors for families who cannot afford them. Please call for details.)