I have several smoke detectors in my house - all of which I can reach with a ladder - except one. It is at the highest point of the pitched ceiling in the entry way of my house. A person that is 6'5" can barely reach it with a standard ladder (I'm 5'2"). Does a smoke detector need to be this high or can I tear the thing out and move it to where I can reach it with a ladder?

  • How full do you want the house to be before it alerts you? Why do you need to reach it? (New ones are required to operate for 10 years without service.)
    – isherwood
    Dec 31, 2018 at 17:18
  • The batteries wear out and I need to replace them. This happens more frequently than I would like - at least once a year I am replacing a battery. Of course I wish to be alerted a soon as possible if there is smoke in my house. Is it necessary for the detector to be that high. I want to avoid a situation where the one smoke detector is beeping constantly and need to round someone up who can help me :)
    – toni
    Dec 31, 2018 at 17:28
  • Replace the batteries with something decent like lithium, or get a new unit that's more efficient. Don't compromise safety for convenience.
    – isherwood
    Dec 31, 2018 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


It's generally best to install smoke detectors up high where smoke will reach them as quickly as possible. However according to the NFPA you may have some latitude, and you actually don't want them all the way at the apex of a peaked ceiling.

Smoke Detector Placement

source: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms/Installing-and-maintaining-smoke-alarms

There are additional considerations for placement at the above link that should be reviewed if you decide to move your smoke detector.

Keep in mind that that smoke detector may very well be required by local building codes, and you'd want to be careful that any changes you make are code compliant.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.