Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installation Locations and Requirements

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:

  1. In each sleeping room.

  2. Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

  3. On each additional story of the dwelling, including basements, but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level. 

When more than one smoke alarm is required to be installed within an individual dwelling unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. 

The installation of smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall comply with the following requirements: 

  1. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be located where ambient conditions, including humidity and temperature, are outside the limits specified by the manufacturer.

  2. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be located within unfinished attics or garages or in other spaces where temperatures can fall below 4°C (40°F) or exceed 38°C (100°F).

  3. Where the mounting surface could become considerably warmer or cooler than the room, such as a poorly insulated ceiling below an unfinished attic or an exterior wall, smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall be mounted on an inside wall.

  4. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors installed within a 6.1-m (20-ft) horizontal path of a cooking appliance shall be equipped with an alarm-silencing means or be the photoelectric type but no closer than 10 feet.

  5. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 914-mm (36-in.) horizontal path from a bathroom containing a shower or tub.

  6. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 914-mm (36-in.) horizontal path from the supply registers or return air opening of a forced air heating or cooling system and shall be installed outside of the direct airflow from those openings.

  7. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 914-mm (36-in.) horizontal path from the tip of the blade of a ceiling-suspended (paddle) fan.

  8. Where stairs lead to other occupied levels, a smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be located so that smoke rising in the stairway cannot be prevented from reaching the smoke alarm or smoke detector by an intervening door or obstruction.

  9. For stairways leading up from a basement, smoke alarms or smoke detectors shall be located on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs.

  10. Smoke alarms or smoke detectors shall be installed in each sleeping room in the immediate vicinity of all sleeping areas.

  11.  All smoke alarms are to be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The National Fire Protection Assn. Article 72 (aka: National Smoke Alarm Code) states that smoke alarms shall not be in service after 10 years. [ref: NFPA 72 – 11.8.1.4 (5)(b) – Smoke alarms installed in one-and two-family dwellings shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture.] A typical manufacturer and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends replacing smoke alarms every 7-8 years as the sensor weakens.

Carbon monoxide alarms shall be located in each bedroom or within 15 feet outside of each bedroom door. Bedrooms on separate floor levels in a structure consisting of two or more stories shall have separate carbon monoxide alarms serving each story.