Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detectors Save Lives

More than 30,000 people die in home fires each year. Many of these deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms. Protect yourself and your family by installing and maintaining smoke alarms in your home. Do your part to get out before firefighters risk their lives to come in.

  • The majority of fatal home fires happen at night, when people are asleep. Contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke produced by a fire can numb the senses and put you in a deeper sleep.
  • Inexpensive household smoke detectors sound an alarm, alerting you to a fire. By giving you time to escape, smoke detectors cut your risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half. Smoke detectors save so many lives most states have laws requiring them in private homes.
Smoke detector

Choosing a Detector


A new law took effect on January 1, 2015 which requires that when smoke alarm is installed either as a new installation or as a replacement for an existing battery-powered smoke alarm, the new smoke alarm must be powered by non-removable, non-replaceable battery that is a minimum 10-year battery.

  • Be sure that the smoke detectors you buy carry the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Several types of detectors are available. Some run on batteries, some on household current, others run on both. Some detect smoke using an ionization sensor; others use a photoelectric detection system. All approved smoke detectors, regardless of the type, will offer adequate protection provided they are installed and maintained properly.

Is One Enough?

Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke detector's alarms. If any residents are hearing-impaired or sleep with bedroom doors closed, install additional detectors inside sleeping areas as well. There are special smoke detectors for the hearing impaired; these flash a light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.

Every existing home should, at a minimum, have one smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. The current Florida Fire Prevention code requires dual powered (battery and house current) smoke detectors, inside and outside each sleeping room and on every floor level for new construction. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms.

Note: Some of this information is courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association

View information on the Installation of Smoke Detectors.

Testing Your Detectors

Even if you have installed the new 10-year battery smoke alarms, you should still check the detector monthly to ensure that it is working properly. Each smoke detector has a test button that you will push and hold until the alarm sounds.

When testing your detectors, this would be a GREAT time to have a family fire drill! View more information about home fire drills.