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How Do I Install A Smoke Detector?

Installing smoke detectors in your home is one of the most important steps towards keeping you and your family safe. It’s important to make sure they’re fitted correctly and regularly maintained to ensure they work as effectively as possible.

Please note, we can only give you basic advice on this page to do the job yourself. Make sure you use the right tools and protective equipment to avoid hurting yourself or damaging your home.

How to install a smoke alarm

Most wireless smoke detectors are attached securely to the wall or ceiling using either screws or adhesive strips.

It’s important that you read and understand the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation, but we’ve put together a basic guide for installing a smoke detector.

Safety first: if you’re fitting an alarm to the ceiling or near staircases, take care and make sure you use the correct type of ladder for the task and wear safety googles to protect your eyes as you drill any required holes.

You’ll need:

  • Tape measure
  • Power drill and appropriate drill bits
  • Hammer (if needed)
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Smoke alarm
  • Ladder
  • Safety googles
  • Pencil


  1. Work out where you want to install your alarm (by reading the product manual). If you decide to fit your smoke alarm to the ceiling, try to keep it at least 30cm away from the wall and any light fittings
  2. Remove the base plate from the alarm and remove the tabs (if there are any)
  3. Never drill into a wall or ceiling without checking your chosen location for hidden pipes and cables
  4. Hold the base plate up to your chosen location and use the fixing slides as a guide to mark the position of the screws on the ceiling/wall using a pencil
  5. While wearing your safety glasses, drill holes in each of the marked locations (using a drill bit of the correct size for the screws/wall plugs)
  6. Insert the wall plugs. These should only require finger pressure to insert but it should be a snug fit. If necessary, lightly tap with a hammer to level it with the ceiling or wall
  7. Fit the base plate to the ceiling or wall with a screwdriver using the provided screws
  8. Inserts the battery (unless it’s pre-fitted and inaccessible)
  9. Fit the alarm to the base plate. Once you’ve positioned it, twist clockwise until the alarm is locked into position
  10. Once complete, press the ‘test’ button to make sure your alarm is worked correctly. You should see the LED light on the front of the alarm flash to show it’s active


10-year smoke alarms are powered by a lithium power pack, which will be in a deactivated state when bought. The power isn’t switched on until the alarm is fully locked onto the base plate and disabled when removed.

How to test your smoke alarm

You should test your smoke detector at least once a month (but ideally once a week)

  • Press the test button on the alarm
  • The alarm should sound for around 5 seconds and then stop automatically
  • An LED light will flash during the test
  • If your alarm doesn’t sound or flash, it’s a sign your batteries need to be changed. You should do this straight away
  • If your smoke alarms are linked with other alarms, you should test each one individually

For more information on how our central heating system cover can keep your mind at rest all year round, get in touch with our team of specialists. Get a free quote online today!

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