By Gene and Katie Hamilton
The National Fire Protection Association reports that 74 percent of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. While smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths, cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries. As a safety precaution it just makes good sense to have smoke alarms located throughout the house near bedrooms, in the hall, kitchen, garage or basement or near any sleeping areas of the house.
Some units combine both photoelectric and ionization technologies that detect both large particles from a smoldering fire and small particles from combustible materials. Other features to look for include an exit light, lithium battery for a longer life, and a low battery warning.
A handyman will install two smoke detectors in a home for $110, which includes the labor and detectors. You can buy them for $56 and do it yourself and save half. You'll need a screwdriver and a ladder, and it will take less than an hour to do the job. Read the manufacturer's directions about where and how to install them and make a note on your calendar about when to change the batteries.
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Here's advice from Home Depot about How to Install a Smoke Detector.
That sums it up. Knowing the average cost to install a smoke detector lets you compare doing it yourself with what you can expect to pay a contractor. To customize the cost to where you live add your ZIP Code in the cost box.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020