how far can a smoke detector be from a bedroom door

Are you trying to install fire protection equipment and you’re not sure how far can a smoke detector be from a bedroom door?

Don’t worry, because just like you, many homeowners are trying to find the answer to this question, too!

In this guide, we will discuss all points and factors about the detector’s distance from the bedroom door!

We’ll discuss the recommended length, why it’s important, and the benefits that go along with it!

Smoke detectors need to be aligned to the doorway’s centerline and must be no further than five (5) feet from the door. However, it’s also required to be at least no closer than 12 inches to the doorway.

Before we discuss the most ideal smoke detector distances from the door, why is it important in the first place?

Importance of Smoke Detector Placement

The positioning and placement of smoke detectors carry relevance in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency.

Not installing it at the correct location can be the cause of false triggers and alarms. Furthermore, it could also be the reason why smoke detectors don’t alarm or trigger accurately.

Moreover, knowing and understanding where to install it is relevant because other appliances and fixtures could disrupt its function.

How Far Can a Smoke Detector Be From a Bedroom Door? – Complete Guide

smoke detector from a bedroom door

So, how far or near should your smoke detector be from the door of your bedroom?

The information that discusses the specifics of the detector from the bedroom door is stated in the National Fire Alarm Protection Association or NFPA’s 72nd provision.

As per the provision, if the wall section above the door is more than 24 inches, the requirement is just one (1) ceiling-mounted smoke detector.

On the contrary, if it’s thicker than 59 inches, the code would require evaluation to identify the need for extra or additional smoke detectors.

When it comes to its distance from the door, it should not be more than five (5) feet from it. Moreover, you need to ensure that it’ll be about twelve (12) inches from the doorway.

The maximum distance that you can install it to would be about twenty (20) feet. This is if you’ll be placing it outside the bedroom (ceiling of the hallway).

Most traditional houses have smoke detectors above the doorway. This has been the standard in previous years.

But would doing this be efficient? Would the process of installing it directly above the bedroom door have positive results?

Where is a Good Spot to Place Smoke Detectors?

Now that we know how far or near your smoke detectors should be from the bedroom door, where are other good spots to place your smoke detectors?

Are there specific locations

Part of the best spots would be inside the entrance of the doorway, typically about 12 to 24 inches inwards on the ceiling.

This is because when smoke enters the room, your smoke detectors will go off and sound the alarm.

Should the hallway be connected to two (2) or more bedrooms, install it on the ceiling of the hallway. You need to make sure that the detector’s distance to each bedroom will be equal.

Smoke Detector Placement For High-Ceiling Spaces

As per the NFPA, there’s inconsistency with the data that discusses the proper placement of smoke detectors in high-ceiling areas and spaces.

These are the ceilings that run about 10 feet or higher – usually 22-feet high.

For these types of ceilings, it wouldn’t be ideal to install usual or regular spot-type smoke detectors.

What the better option is for high-ceiling spaces would be a debate between Aspiring Smoke Detectors (ASD) and Optical Beam Smoke Detectors.

Aspirating Smoke Detectors (ASDs)

Aspirating smoke detectors or ASDs for short, are devices that consist of a central unit, drawing air via its pipes to detect if smoke is present.

Inside it is a nephelometer, a component that detects the presence of smoke via smoke particles in the air.

Optical Beam Smoke Detectors

This particular type of smoke detector is the unit that utilizes beams of light to sense and see if there’s smoke in an area.

Through the process of light obscuration, the device will know when smoke is present because it’ll be blocking light coming from the beam.

For high-ceiling spaces, ASDs are the most used because they can detect smoke particles.

Using optical beam detectors might not be best as smoke might be dispersed when it reaches certain heights.

Where Shouldn’t You Place a Smoke Detector?

While one of the best spots to place or install your smoke detector would be about a few feet from the doorway, there are a couple of spots and places where you should avoid installing smoke protectors.

Near Windows and Ducts

These locations are considered “bad” when it comes to placing smoke detectors.

Why? – it’s because the airflow might prevent the smoke from reaching the detector.

This can cause the smoke alarm to not function efficiently. Place and position them slightly near windows and ducts, not close to them.

Corners (Dead Air Spaces)

Placing smoke detectors in far corners of a room is not ideal because the device might detect the smoke later and slower.

Smoke travels upward, so the higher and farther the smoke detector is placed, the slower and less urgent the alarm would be.

Install your smoke detectors along the centerline of doorways for smoke to reach them easier and faster.

Insect-Infested Areas 

Last but most definitely not least would be to place smoke detectors in areas where insects are prevalent.

As many of us know, insects can block out the sensors of these smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Therefore, if an area is infested with insects, it can contribute to the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of smoke detectors.

You can place and install your smoke detectors matching the center or the middle of the doorway, which should be about 12 inches from it. But it must not be more than five (5) feet from the door for faster and more accurate smoke detection.

Refrain from placing them near windows and ducts and in the corner of the room.

Read Next: How To Stop Smoke Detector From Chirping Without Battery?

Bottom Line

In case you’re wondering about how far a smoke detector from a bedroom door can be, as well as the best and worst spots to place it, go back to this guide and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it!

If this is your first time owning a smoke detector or if you’re 100% unaware of where you need to place and install it, we have it all for you!

Nicole B