How to set up your smoke detectors


One of the most important devices in your home is your smoke detector. Every homeowner and resident should know how and where to install their smoke detectors for maximum security.

Rule number one for smoke detectors is to install one on every floor. Keep one near the living room, where you spend a lot of your time. It's important to install smoke detectors in areas that connect to several different parts of the house, like in the hallways or at the top of the stairs.

One very important area for a smoke alarm is near your bedroom. People are most in danger of being caught in a fire while they are sleeping, so you want to make sure that screeching alert will be within the hearing range of your family.

When it comes to installing smoke alarms near your kitchen, you need to be careful not to put one too close to the stove or oven. Mild smoke from cooking can cause a frustrating number of false alarms. But don't go too far – cooking is one major risk of fire in the home, so make sure your smoke detector is installed close enough to be doing its job.

Contrary to popular belief, smoke detectors should not necessarily be placed on the ceiling. Smoke detectors are designed to sense rising smoke in your home, and should therefore be placed up high. However, there can be other deadly gases in the air during a fire that will actually rise straight to the top of the room, causing the actual smoke to sit a foot below the ceiling. You may want to consider installing your smoke detector on the wall, 12 inches below the ceiling.

A smoke detector won't be of any use with a dead battery. Because not all smoke detectors alert you when the batteries are low, performing regular checkups is critical to your safety. You should make it a monthly habit.

A properly working smoke detector will usually require that you change the battery twice a year. To help you remember, a good trick is to commit to changing the battery at daylight savings time. Once when you turn your clocks ahead, and then a second time when you turn them back.

You want to know your smoke detector is in good working order at all times. Even if you're diligent with checking and replacing your batteries, old smoke detectors can still lose their effectiveness. You should replace any smoke detector over 10 years old.

Installing smoke detectors properly is only one aspect of protecting your home or property from disaster. You should also have a good home insurance plan. PC® home insurance can give you a free, no-obligation home insurance quote in minutes.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-800-205-7171 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • Why should I have home insurance?

    Why should I have home insurance?

    While the government doesn't require you to purchase home insurance, your mortgage-holder probably will - at least enough to cover its share of ownership. There are various kinds of home insurance that cover general and specific kinds of damage to your home, and you should research your options carefully. You can also buy specialized insurance to cover a condominium, home business, or other kind of property or valuables found in your home.

    Home insurance also includes liability coverage for people who are hurt on your property.

  • Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Most people would be surprised at the value of their personal property if they were to add it up and have to replace it all immediately. Think about your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment-then try to put a price tag to it all. Also, if you've purchased items on credit and they are stolen or destroyed by fire, you could still have to make the payments.

    Tenants insurance also includes liability insurance for damage the tenants or their guests cause to the building, for injuries in the rented home, etc.

  • How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    How can I earn PC Optimum points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial® MasterCard® to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium. If you use your President's Choice Financial bank card to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 10 PC Optimum points per dollar of your premium.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is your share of the amount that needs to be paid to cover the repair or replacement of your covered property before your insurance pays the rest.

  • How are premiums calculated?

    How are premiums calculated?

    The building itself has a lot to do with how your home insurance premiums are set. Many things about your home are taken into consideration including:

    • Its age and size
    • Type of building (detached, semi, high rise, etc)
    • Type of construction (brick, stucco, wood, etc)
    • Type of heating system
    • How close it is to a fire hydrant or fire station
    • Where it is located

See all Home Insurance FAQs


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