Smoke Alarms (Detectors), Specific Location Requirements


The installation of smoke alarms (detectors) must be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm Code. Section 72: lists specific location requirements to improve reliability and avoid false alarms. Smoke alarms (detectors) must:

  1. not be located where the humidity and temperature are outside of the limits specified by the manufacturer,
  2. not be located where temperatures fall below 40 degrees or exceed 100 degrees,
  3. be mounted on an inside wall or ceiling where outside walls or ceilings are poorly insulated,
  4. be photoelectric, or have alarm-silencing, when installed within 20 feet of a cooking appliance,
  5. not be installed within 36 inches from a door to a kitchen or bathroom containing a shower or tub,
  6. not be installed within 36 inches from a supply register of a forced hot-air heating or cooling system,
  7. not be installed within 36 inches from the tip of a blade of a fan suspended from a ceiling,
  8. be located in a stairway so that an intervening door or obstruction does not prevent rising smoke from reaching the alarm (detector),
  9. be located on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs.

Code Highlights