Why should my home have smoke alarms?
You are more likely to survive a home fire if you have a working smoke alarm. During a fire, you may have less than three minutes to escape. Smoke spreads fast, and smoke alarms alert you to the danger and give you time to get out.
What is the difference between a smoke alarm and a smoke detector?
A smoke alarm is a self-contained, single or multiple-station smoke-sensing device. A smoke alarm detects and alarms. A smoke detector is a smoke-sensing device that is not self-contained and operates as part of a central control system. A smoke detector detects smoke and sends the information to an alarm panel.
What types of smoke alarms are available?
Ionization, photoelectric, dual-sensing (ionization/photoelectric), and combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms.
What is the difference between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms?
Ionization smoke alarms are quicker at sensing flaming, fast-moving fires. Photoelectric smoke alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering fires. Both types are recommended for protection from both types of fires.
Where do I install smoke alarms?
Smoke alarms in dwelling units shall be installed in each sleeping room as per the applicable requirements of the State Building Code at the time of construction and in the corridor or area giving access to sleeping areas according to the manufacturer's instructions*.
Where sleeping areas are located on an upper level, the smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be installed in an accessible location as close as practical to the center of the ceiling directly over the stairway. Where sleeping areas are widely separated (i.e., on different levels or opposite ends of the dwelling unit) and/or where a single smoke alarm or smoke detector will not adequately service all sleeping areas, a smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be installed adjacent to each sleeping area.
- Outside bedrooms within 21 feet of all bedroom doors.
- On each level of the home (including the basement).
- In bedrooms, if required by the State Building Code at the time of construction.
- All smoke alarms are to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Are smoke alarms required on every level?
Yes. Smoke alarms are required on each level of the home (including the basement).
Are smoke alarms required in all bedrooms?
Smoke alarms in dwelling units shall be installed in each sleeping room as per the applicable requirements of the State Building Code at the time of construction. It is recommended to add smoke alarms to each bedroom or other areas used for sleeping for increased protection.
Where should smoke alarms not be installed?
Smoke alarms should not be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and unheated areas where moisture, steam, frost, cooking vapors, and exhaust fumes could cause a nuisance alarm.
Should a smoke alarm be installed in the kitchen?
No. If you install smoke alarms in the kitchen, install them at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. They should be equipped with a hush feature, or they should be photoelectric smoke alarms.
How often do I replace my smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms should be replaced according to the National Fire Protection Association, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. Replacement of Smoke Alarms in One and Two-Family Dwellings:
“Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer’s published instructions, single and multiple station smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests, but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.”
Can I replace a hard-wired smoke alarm with a smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?
Yes. You may replace a hard-wired smoke alarm with a hard-wired with battery back-up smoke/CO alarm.
- Switching from one manufacturer’s unit to another may require an adapter plug.
- Manufacturers advise adapter plugs may be changed using wire nuts, and may require the services of a licensed electrician.
Are 10-year batteries and a hush feature required in smoke alarms in Oregon?
All ionization smoke alarms sold in this state that are solely battery operated shall be packaged with a 10-year battery. All ionization smoke alarms sold in this state shall include a hush mechanism that allows a person to temporarily disengage the alarm for a period of not more than 15 minutes. "Ten-year smoke alarm battery" means a battery power source that is warranted by the battery manufacturer to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of at least ten (10) years when used in an ionization smoke alarm that: is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory; and has been approved by the nationally recognized testing laboratory for use with a ten-year battery. Photoelectric, combination (ionization/photoelectric), smoke/carbon monoxide, and hardwired alarms do not require a 10-year (long-life) battery or a hush feature, but are available for sale in Oregon.
How do I test my smoke alarm?
Test smoke alarms by pushing the test button.
What should I do when the smoke alarm sounds?
Get outside and stay outside. Get down and crawl low under the smoke to your way out. Call 911 or your local emergency number for help. Never go back inside for people, pets, or belongings.
What do I do if my smoke alarm sounds and it is a nuisance alarm?
Many smoke alarms come with a hush feature, a button on the alarm that you push to silence nuisance alarms for up to 15 minutes. Please note: Nuisance alarms can be caused by steam from showers or smoke from cooking.Smoke and CO Alarm Safety Brochure (English/Spanish)