Expert Electric Blog

The Importance Of Smoke Detectors In Your Home

Smoke AlarmSmoke detectors are an important part of safety in the home. These cheap little devices can save your home and your life. If your lucky, the only time you’ve heard one go off is when the toast burnt. It’s easy for us to forget to check on them or even forget to test them after purchasing a new home. But they should not only be checked regularly, but require correct installation. Let’s go over some of the basics of having smoke detectors in the home.

Why Do I Need Them

Having smoke detectors placed in various locations around your home allows for fast and effective detection. Once the smoke detector siren sounds, it will warn you that there is a potential fire. You can quickly check the nature of the problem and hopefully prevent any further damage. It will also wake you at night before any harm can come to anyone in your home. The siren also helps firefighters quickly locate the fire in the home so they can focus their efforts.

How They Work

Because smoke rises, smoke detectors are always placed on the roof for ideal detection. There are two common types of smoke detectors, photoelectric and ionization. Photoelectric sensors use a beam of light within the detector to sense any smoke in the air. The beam will shoot in a straight line when the air is clear. In the presence of smoke the light will scatter, this is when the alarm will go off. Ionization detectors use a chamber with a small electrical current. When smoke enters the chamber and the level of ions in the air changes, the electrical current drops and the alarm will sound.


It is recommended that there are smoke detectors on each floor of your home. If doors to rooms are closed often, it is best to have a detector installed in that room. The device should be placed away from rooms that create steam, such as showers or a laundry room, as this steam could trigger the smoke detector. Most smoke detectors use double sided tape to stick the device to the ceiling. You will need to drill the mount to your ceiling and attach the smoke detector to the sticky mount. Ensure that the batteries you use are working properly.


Smoke detector testing should be done on a monthly basis because batteries can die and sensors can become faulty. Each smoke detector will have a button on it to manually sound the siren. Push this button for a few seconds to ensure the siren is working correctly and the batteries are still active. To test the sensor, you can use an aerosol can of smoke to spray into the smoke detector. It may take a couple minutes for the siren to deactivate, as the smoke needs to clear from inside of the chamber first.

Smoke detectors are vitally important to keeping your home and family safe. We can help you to install smoke detectors around your home and position them to give you the best coverage. If you have more questions about smoke detectors or need assistance, please contact your local Expert Electric.