Building Your Own Home For Dummies
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Installing a smoke detector can save your life. But to be most effective, you have to know where to install the smoke detector.

The National Electric Code (NEC) does not require smoke detectors, however, most local codes do. You should have at least one smoke detector on each level of the house. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) states that the best location for a smoke detector is on the ceiling near a doorway or stairway. As a fire burns, the smoke rises and seeks easiest route of escape.

You should also have a smoke detector on the hallway ceiling outside of sleeping areas (bedrooms). Remember to install a separate smoke detector in each sleeping area if you have multiple sleeping areas located in different areas or different levels of the house. Additional smoke detectors in each bedroom, is optimal.

Kitchens are a top priority when choosing locations for smoke detectors. Put one either inside or just outside the kitchen. Smoke from cooking causes nuisance alarms — which are alarms that aren't caused by actual fires. Nuisance alarms cause people to temporarily disconnect or remove the battery to silence the smoke detector. Unfortunately, people often forget to reconnect the alarm, often with tragic consequences.

Check with your city’s fire department for local regulations and requirements for the number of smoke detectors you should have and the best locations for installation. But, most importantly, install smoke detectors in your home—now!

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