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Recommended smoke detector locations for a house or flat

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- Published 7th January 2019

The locations for smoke alarms will largely depend on the type of property you live – if your home is over several floors, you may find there are areas where a smoke alarm would be more beneficial.  

Whether you live in a multi-level house or a ground floor apartment, this comprehensive guide to residential smoke detector locations will give you the know-how you need to ensure that your home is fully protected.  

What are the best smoke alarm locations in a house

When a fire breaks out, time is of the essence. It’s important to protect your family while they sleep so ensure you have a smoke alarm installed within audible distance of each upstairs bedroom. Test your smoke alarm in a few different locations before you fit it. Generally speaking, the hallway outside each of the bedrooms should be sufficient. If you have a third floor in your house, remember to fit a separate smoke alarm here too.  

To give your family even more time to escape, us an interconnected fire alarm system. This will ensure that the upstairs smoke detector is triggered, even before the smoke has reached it.   

Is there an ideal number of smoke detectors in a house?

Obviously, a fire can break out anywhere in your home and the more fire alarms you have, the better protected you’ll be.  

According to the Fire Service, one fire alarm should be fitted on each level of your home. So, if you live in a standard two-up-two-down property, you’ll need two fire alarms – one fitted downstairs and one upstairs. If you live in a single-level property, such as a flat or bungalow, you should be fine with one as long as it’s fitted in the right location and at least 30cm from the nearest wall.  

What are the best apartment smoke detector locations?

If you live in an apartment or flat, you should fit your smoke alarm between the living and sleeping areas – the hallway between your bedroom and lounge is ideal.   

You should also check that the fire alarms in your building’s communal areas – such as foyers and hallways – are up to scratch. If a fire were to break out in another residence of your building, it’s important that you’re alerted before the smoke reaches your own home.   

Smoke detector placement in bedroom – is it needed?

If you have any large or hazardous electrical appliances in your bedroom – such as a TV or hair straighteners – you should consider fitting a smoke alarm in here. As with all fire detectors, you should install your smoke alarm on your ceiling, as centrally as possible and at least 30cm away from the wall. 

Are there any rooms where a smoke alarm shouldn’t be fitted?

You should avoid any smoke alarm placement in bathrooms – the steam could easily trigger an alarm. You should also think carefully about which sort of fire alarm should be fitted in your kitchen or garage. A smoke detector is incredibly sensitive to fumes and smoke so in these rooms, you should consider using a heat detector instead.  

To find out more about the difference between a smoke and heat alarm, read our article Heat detector vs. Smoke detector.