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Detector Placement


Where to locate Detectors?

Smoke detectors are to be located on every level of a residence, (basement, first, second floor) excluding crawl spaces and unfinished attics, and in every separate sleeping area, between sleeping and living areas such as kitchen, garage, basement and utility room.

In homes with only one sleeping area on one floor, a detector is to be placed in the hallway outside the bedrooms as shown in figure 1.

In single floor homes with two separate sleeping areas, two detectors are required, outside each sleeping area as shown in Figure 2.

In multi-level homes, detectors are to be located outside each sleeping area and at every finished level of the home as shown in Figure 3.

Basement level detectors are to be located in close proximity to the bottom of basement stairwells as shown in Figure 4.

Carbon Monoxide alarms should be placed in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping areas.

The Legislature amended and enacted P.L.1991, c.92 (C.52:27D-198.1), requiring that all one and two-family dwellings at a change of occupancy be provided with a portable fire extinguisher, in addition to the requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  This provision does not apply to seasonal rental units.  This act was signed into law on April 14, 2005 with an effective date of November 1, 2005.

The requirements for the type and placement of the extinguishers are as follows:

1.       At least one portable fire extinguisher shall be installed in all

One- and two-family dwellings (except seasonal rental units) upon change of occupancy;

2.       The extinguisher shall be listed, labeled, charges and operable;

3.       The size shall be no smaller than 2A:10B:C, rated for residential use and weigh no more than 10lbs;

4.       The hangers or brackets supplied by the manufacturer must be used;

5.       The extinguisher must be located within 10 feet of the kitchen;

6.       The top of the extinguisher must not be more than 5 feet above the floor;

7.       The extinguisher must be visible and in a readily accessible location, free from being blocked by furniture, storage or other items;

8.       The extinguisher must be near a room exit or travel path that provides an escape route to the exterior;

9.       The extinguisher must be accompanied by an owner’s manual or written information regarding the operation, inspection and maintenance of the extinguisher; and

10.   Lastly, the extinguisher must be installed with the operating instructions clearly visible.

Where NOT to locate detectors?
To avoid false alarms and/or improper operation, avoid installation of smoke detectors in the following areas:
  • Kitchen smoke from cooking may cause a nuisance alarm.
  • Bathrooms excessive steam from a shower may cause a nuisance alarm.
  • Near forced air-ducts used for heating or air conditioning- air movement may prevent smoke from reaching detector.
  • Near furnaces of any type-air and dust movement and normal combustion products may cause nuisance alarm.
  • The 4 inch "Dead Air" space where the ceiling meets the wall, as shown in the figure 5.
  • The peak of an "A" frame type of ceiling "Dead Air" at the top may prevent smoke from reaching detector.


More Information on detector placement :

For more information about detector placement, please consult the NATIONAL PROTECTION ASSOCIATION's Standard No 74-1984, titled "Household Fire Warning Equipment". This publication may be obtained by writing to the Publication Sales Department, National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269.

Go To Smoke Alarm Application Form

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