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Where should smoke alarms be installed?

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When deciding where to install smoke alarms in your home there are a few factors to consider. The alarms need to be located where everyone in the home can hear them, all the time.

Where to put smoke alarms

Depending on the layout of your house this will differ slightly but generally, this means that a smoke alarm is placed:

  • on every level of a multi-level building
  • between the sleeping and living areas - if bedrooms are located at both ends of the house place a smoke alarm at each end
  • inside each bedroom - this especially important if residents smoke or use electrical equipment like heaters in bedrooms
  • sleeping areas which are separate from the main house or connected by a veranda or walkway

Interconnected hardwired smoke alarms provide the best protection for homes as if one alarm is triggered the alarm will sound throughout the house allowing for quick action and evacuation in a fire.

Smoke alarm placement for single storey homes

Single storey smoke alarm installation guide
Single storey smoke alarm installation guide - image FRNSW

Smoke alarm placement for multi-storey homes

Multi storey smoke alarm installation guide
Multi-storey smoke alarm installation guide - image FRNSW

Where not to place smoke alarms

Constant false alarms often lead to smoke alarms getting damaged, disabled or removed altogether. Smoke alarms don't save lives if they're in the kitchen drawer or are missing a battery. To avoid nuance false alarms and maximise the effectiveness of the alarm don't place smoke alarms:

  • in or just outside the kitchen - general cooking smoke and steam can trigger the alarm
  • in or just outside a bathroom or en-suite - steam from hot showers and baths can activate the smoke alarm
  • in or just outside the laundry
  • over water heaters, space heaters or fireplaces
  • near doors or windows which are in close proximity to an outdoor barbeque
  • above heating or cooling ducts, ceiling fans, doors, and windows - excessive air movement can prevent smoke from reaching the alarm

Professional smoke alarm installation

The ideal way to ensure the smoke alarms in your home are in the best position to protect your family from fire is to book a professional smoke alarm installation. If your smoke alarms are hardwired or interconnected you'll need to get a licenced electrician to carry out any installation or maintenance.

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