Smoke Detectors

Most fatal fires occur at night when people are sleeping. The smell of smoke may or may not awaken someone who is sleeping, even though most people think it will. The smoke and toxic gases can put you into a deeper sleep. Working smoke detectors provide the vital extra minutes to escape before conditions are at this point. Smoke detectors double you chances of survival.

There are several types and brands of smoke detectors available. Smoke detectors come with different power sources such as battery operated or 120-volt A/C with battery backup. All smoke detectors being installed should carry the Under Writers Laboratory seal of testing approval.


When installing smoke detectors in your home, follow the directions provide by the manufacture on placement, and remember smoke rises. When mounting smoke detectors on the ceiling always provide four inches between the detector and the side wall. If you have pitched ceilings always mount the detector at the highest point on the ceiling.

Smoke detectors should be mounted in each sleeping area of your home and on every level of the home including the basement. The National Fire Protection Association code requires all new residential construction to have a 120-volt AC detector with battery backup installed in each bedroom.


A smoke detector cannot protect you if it does not function properly. Follow the following maintenance procedures on each smoke detector in your home:

  • Test your smoke detectors weekly to assure they are working properly.
  • Remember to test your smoke detector battery each spring and fall when you reset your clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Never borrow the battery from your smoke detector to use in any other device.
  • Clean the smoke detector bimonthly by vacuuming the grill and inside.
  • Never paint a smoke detector.
  • Replace all detectors after 10 years of service.

Free Smoke Detectors

Free smoke detectors are available by calling the Alcoa Fire Department at 865-380-4999 or 865-981-4142.