Click to Home
Go To Search
PrintEmail
Installation Guide
Where Smoke Detectors Are Required
  • In all sleeping rooms
  • On each level of the dwelling unit
  • Outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms

Reference: The International Residential Code (IRC) 2006 section 313.2 and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 2002 section 11.5.1.1

Installation Requirements

For purposes of this guide, smoke detector and smoke alarm shall be considered the same.
  • Install in accordance with the manufacture’s listing and instructions and shall comply with the following requirements:
    • Flat ceilings - Shall be located no closer than 4 inches from the adjoining wall surface.
    • Peaked ceilings - Shall be located within 36 inches horizontally of the peak, but not closer than 4 inches vertically to the peak.
    • Sloped ceilings - Having a rise greater than 1 foot in 8 feet horizontally shall be located within 36 inches of the high side of the ceiling, but not closer than 4 inches from the adjoining wall surface.
    • Wall mounting - Shall be located not closer than 4 inches from the adjoining ceiling surface and not further than 12 inches from the adjoining ceiling surface.
    • Specific locations:
      • Shall not be located where ambient conditions, including humidity and temperature are outside the limits specified by the manufacturer.
      • Shall not be located within unfinished attics or garages or other spaces where temperatures can fall below 40ºF or exceed 100ºF.
      • Where the mounting surface can become considerably warmer or cooler than the room, such as a poorly insulated ceiling below an unfinished attic or an exterior wall, smoke detectors shall be located on an inside wall.
      • Detectors installed within a 20 foot horizontal path of a cooking appliance shall be equipped with an alarm silencing means or be of the photoelectric type.
      • Shall not be installed within a 36 inch horizontal path from a door to a kitchen or a bathroom containing a shower or tub.
      • Shall not be installed within a 36 inch horizontal path from the supply registers of a forced air heating or cooling system and shall be installed outside of the direct airflow from those registers.
      • Shall not be installed within a 36 inch horizontal path from the tip of the blade of a ceiling suspended fan.
      • Where stairs lead to other occupied levels, a smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be located so that smoke rising in the stairwell cannot be prevented from reaching the smoke detector by an intervening door or obstruction.
      • For stairways leading up from a basement, smoke detectors shall be located on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs.

Reference: NFPA 72 2002 section 11.8.3 through 11.8.3.5