I'm sharing information here posted by Rhonda Sanderson of Pillar to Post Home Inspections about the importance to having working smoke detectors in your home, and where they should be located. Please read and then check your home. The life you save might be your own.

Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities occur in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements. We asked Roberto Sarjoo, Marketing Manager for Pillar To Post, for his tips on smoke alarms.

  • As in real estate, location is key! Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.
  • Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; in these cases smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.
  • For areas close to the kitchen, use a detector with a “hush button” that can be used to silence nuisance alarms triggered by cooking smoke or steam. No matter which type is used, never remove the unit’s battery to stop or prevent nuisance alarms.
  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.
  • Test each alarm monthly. It’s helpful to put a reminder in the calendar to do this on the first or last day of the month, for example. The units have a test button that will sound the alarm for a moment or two when pressed. Any alarm that fails to sound should have the battery replaced. If the test button fails with a new battery, replace the entire detector immediately.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year. A common rule of thumb is to do this when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall or spring. Remember, a non-working alarm is no better than no alarm at all. Some alarms now come with 10-year lithium batteries that eliminate the need for new batteries, but the unit itself must be replaced after its stated lifespan.
  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered the others will sound as well. Any hard-wired alarms, interconnected or not, should be installed by a licensed electrician for safety and proper operation.
  • The newest interconnected alarms are wireless. This technology allows detectors to communicate with one another and, like their hard-wired cousins, will sound all units at the same time even if just one is triggered initially.

--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547









Comment balloon 19 commentsLottie Kendall • December 01 2017 03:22PM


Hi Lottie - this is an important topic raised by Rhonda.  How many people test their smoke detectors.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 3 years ago

Not enough, Grant Schneider !

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

Hello Lottie, excellent reblog for sure.  I do a drop by to my clients in October and give them a 9 volt battery to change in their fire alarm.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 3 years ago

Will Hamm - that's an EXCELLENT idea - giving a 9V battery to clients is wonderful. I might copy you.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

A good way to flip that phrase on it’s head a little bit that I really like! Great stuff!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 3 years ago

When I think about smoke detectors, I think of neighbors - an elderly couple who lost their life in a home fire several years ago.  They didn't have a working smoke detector in the house.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 3 years ago

Laura Cerrano - Rhonda did a good job with her title as well as the post.

Myrl Jeffcoat - that is too sad! I posted this on my website because many of my readers are older folk.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

This is an excellent selection for a reblog and important information to share.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago

Hi Lottie... an excellent topic to highlight (along with carbon monoxide detectors). 

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 3 years ago

Hi Roy Kelley and Nina Hollander - I thought this post deserved as many eyes on it as possible, especially this time of year when portable heaters, decorative lights, etc. are plugged into every available outlet!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

Smoke detectors go out and we are having to replace them in our rental properties and in our home.  That is something you want to be in good working condition.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) about 3 years ago

That's a good habit you have, Debbie Reynolds - we give batteries to our tenants and stress the importance of keeping the smoke detectors operating properly.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago


Smoke detection are must in a home for safety.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 3 years ago

Yes, indeed, Lou Ludwig - smoke detectors save lives -- if they are installed and in good working condition.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

Having lived through many fires, I hope everyone pays attention and does the right thing with smoke detector installations. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 3 years ago

I remember your harrowing story about escaping an apartment fire, Patricia Feager I'm sure your smoke detectors are in perfect operating condition.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago

That was a fascinating reblog Lottie Kendall and I really appreciate you re-posting it

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) about 3 years ago

When a home sells in my market, the county or city code inspector checks to be sure all smoke detectors are properly in place and working. If not, the agency will not allow utilities to be turned on until it's functioning properly. It's a nuisance, but effective to insure the smoke detectors are installed. 

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) about 3 years ago

Good morning Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS, - the more eyes on this post by Rhonda, the better.

Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS - it sounds like a great idea to have building inspectors check for proper location and working condition of smoke detectors. CO monitors should be up and running, too. Just yesterday a CO leak killed one person, severly injured another and displaced others here in San Francisco. It happens.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 3 years ago