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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Many Fire Alarms Should I Have in My Home?

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Ionization alarm detect flaming fires

How Many Fire Alarms Should I Have in My Home?

Having a fire alarm in all the right places in your home in Lippitt, MA, is incredibly important for keeping your family safe during an unexpected fire, and gives you the maximum amount of evacuation time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides code 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which suggests a minimum number of fire alarms throughout the home in certain locations.

  • One in every bedroom
  • One outside each sleeping area
  • At least one on every level of the home, and more are required for larger homes

Older houses do not always meet these requirements, so look around your house to see if your family has adequate protection. There are two types of fire alarms to be aware of – ionization for detecting flaming fires and photoelectric for moldering fires. It’s good to have a few of each around the house.

Installation Tips

When installing alarms yourself, make sure to choose one that has been tested by a laboratory with a good reputation. The NFPA provides a lot of helpful information about fire safety on their website.

  • Install the basement fire alarm near the bottom of the stairs.
  • Install kitchen alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.
  • Mount all alarms high up, no more than 12 inches from the ceiling.
  • For ceilings that are pitched, mount the alarm about two to three feet from the peak.
  • Avoid placing alarms near windows, doors, or other drafty areas.


For homes that are up to code, it is important to do a little maintenance here and there to keep alarms functioning correctly. It is recommended to swap out the batteries every year, though if you don’t, each fire alarm will let you know with a persistent chirping noise. It is also recommended to replace alarms every eight to 10 years.
If your home has had a fire, the alarms that were closest to the heat and smoke should be checked and may need to be replaced. Fire damage and even smoke damage can affect the sensitive detection equipment inside.

Protect Your Family

Doing a little routine maintenance on your home fire alarms doesn’t take much time, and it will be well worth the effort if an emergency situation presents itself.

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