Like many other items in your home, one item that should be routinely checked to make sure it is working properly is your Smoke Detector. Over 350,00 home fires occur each year, these fires could be prevented if the homeowners performed routine maintenance on their smoke detectors in their home. Here are a few items to check to make sure your smoke detectors are up to par and working properly.


·         Reliability Tests

Even if the batteries are new, you should not ignore conducting monthly reliability tests. If they are working properly and do not pass the test. It is recommended that you replace them to avoid any issues with a malfunction.

·         Routine Battery Replacement

It is recommended that batteries be replaced on all the smoke detectors in your home, at least, once per year. If the batteries are not routinely changed, then they could possibly corrode into the receptacle. If this happens, then your fire detector will no longer work properly, and you will have to replace the whole unit.

·         Installing the Correct Type of Fire Detectors

Smoke Detectors come in 2 different types, you can get either Ionization or Photoelectric.  Ionization Fire Detectors are more responsive to flaming fires, while Photoelectric fire detectors are made to detect smoldering fires verse large flame fires. Installing a combination or is recommended because it provides the maximum amount of protection from the different types of fires for you and your loved ones.

·         Smoke Detector Replacement

Like most items and electronics in your home that have expiration dates, so do your smoke detectors. Even if your smoke detectors are working properly, it is recommended that you replace the unit every 8-10 years to insure they are working up to par. You can find the expiration date located inside the alarm unit stamped next to the battery. If you are unable to locate the stamp there, look on the back of the unit and the expiration date should be located there.

·         Installation

When finding the proper place to install your smoke detector in your home, it is recommended that you try not to place the smoke detector in places that give off steam and normal fumes. Such as your Kitchen, Laundry areas, bathrooms, and fireplaces. It is also recommended that you keep your smoke detectors placed away from air vents or fans.


It is recommended that you install smoke alarms in the heavier traffic areas of your home and outside areas where you sleep. You should install alarms in all levels of the home to ensure, maximum protection for you and your family. Also, please place smoke detectors where you can hear them, because sometimes outside noises such as TV’s, Air conditioners, and other electronics can make it difficult to hear if one of your smoke detectors goes off. Always use a professional electrician to install your smoke detectors as well, so everything is working correctly for your home.


1.)    You should place your smoke detectors at least 4 inches from the wall or in the middle of the ceiling in the room.

2.)    If you are installing them on a wall, you should always place them high up toward the ceiling and keep them at least 4-12 inches for the ceiling to get a proper smoke reading.

3.)    For peaked ceiling, make sure they are installed horizontally 3 feet below the peak of your ceiling and at least 4 inches from the projecting structure area.

Smoke Detectors are an important part of maintaining the safety for both your family and your home. Making sure they are both working properly and installed correctly by a professional is the first step in making sure you do not encounter any issues that could be detrimental to your home.

Please call the professionals at Downtown Electric and Lighting to have your smoke detectors installed properly, Call us TODAY at (719) 428-8245 for your FREE estimate!

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