Instructions for Installing a Smoke Alarm Note: These instructions are tailored to the installation of a First Alert SA340CM smoke alarm. However, most smoke alarm installations will be very similar in nature. 1. Decide which rooms need a smoke alarm. The National Fire Alarm Code and International Residential Code both recommend that smoke alarms be installed on every level of a home, including the basement; in every bedroom; and one outside of sleeping areas, such as a hallway. Avoid installing alarms in areas that may frequently trigger false alarms, such as right outside of a bathroom (the steam from a shower may set it off) or in the kitchen. 2. Determine the exact location within a room to install the alarm. The most desirable location is in the middle of the ceiling. However, if that is not possible, due to a ceiling fan, for example; make sure it is at least 4 inches from the nearest wall and at least 3 feet from an air vent. If you must mount on the wall instead, the alarm should be placed 4-12 inches down from the ceiling. In basements, the alarm should be placed near the bottom of the stairwell. In two-story homes, place an alarm near the top of the stairwell. 3. Do not place smoke alarms too close to cooking appliances or bathrooms as these are areas prone to nuisance alarms created by burnt food or shower steam. 4. The alarm comes with a base plate, which you mount to the ceiling and then the insert and twist the actual alarm into, locking it in place. Affix the plate to ceiling by holding it up where you want it to be located and outline the mounting hole areas with a pencil. (Photo to the right) 5. Set the base plate aside for a moment and drill a couple of holes, using a 3/16 drill bit, within the areas you just outlined. 6. Tap the anchors into the holes with a hammer. 7. Insert the screws about three-fourths of the way into the hole, leaving room for the base plate. 8. Place the base plate on the ceiling and then twist it a little until the screws are fitted into a branch of the mounting hole area and finish tightening the screws. 9. Write the date on the blank line located on the battery pack and then insert it into the alarm. *Once the battery is in place, it will not come out. 10. Turn the alarm over and push the “test” button to make sure it is functioning. (Photo to the right) 11. Twist the alarm into the base plate and you are done! Tip to share with the household: The test button is also a mute button. It will silence the alarm for 15 minutes, which is great if a false alarm has been triggered, perhaps by cooking or steam from a shower. Disclaimer: The ICC and the NVFC are not responsible for any improperly installed or incorrectly placed smoke alarms.
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