How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

A combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector is one of the best ways to ensure your family’s safety. They save lives and they’re easy to install. So watch this video and learn where and how to install them in any room in your house.



  1. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 1

    Put new batteries into the detector if needed. Battery-powered detectors can be installed anywhere.

  2. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 2

    Separate the unit from the frame.

  3. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 3

    Decide on a place on the ceiling or on the wall 4-10 inches from the ceiling to mount the smoke detector. Install away from air ducts.

  4. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 4

    Mark with a pencil where the screws will go.

  5. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 5

    Drill the holes for the screws

  6. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 6

    Insert expanding plastic sleeve anchors and gently tap with a hammer.

  7. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 7

    Place the detector mount and secure it with screws.

  8. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 8

    Attach the smoke detector unit onto the mounted frame.

  9. How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Step 9

    Push the testing button to make sure that it works. Replace batteries when needed.

Read Video Transcript

While many home improvement projects can help you save on energy costs or increase the efficiency or value of your home, nothing compares to the one project that can actually save your life … installing a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

It is estimated by the National Fire Protection Association that nearly a third of all homes in the United States are not fully protected with working smoke detectors. Furthermore, the potential for loss of life that occurs during a fire decreases by 45 percent if there is just one working smoke detector present in the house.

Since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas, carbon monoxide detectors are designed to alarm you if levels of carbon monoxide in the home reach life threatening levels.

Today, you’re going to learn how to install a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector like the one you see here. We’ll talk about some of the different options and features of what’s available and tell you where in the room to install the detector. Finally, we’ll tell you how to test them to ensure they are working properly and how often to change the batteries.

So let’s get started.

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s a good idea to install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom in the house. Since smoke rises, the best place to detect it is on or near the ceiling.

The unit I have here is a battery-operated unit. The benefit to this type of unit is that it can be installed anywhere without needing to be hooked up to the home’s electrical supply. Other models must be hardwired to your home’s electrical supply. These units also feature a battery backup in case a loss of power occurs.

For more information on the different types of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors available and where they should be installed, be sure to check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions specifically related to this video.

To install this unit, you first need to separate the unit from the mounting ring. Hold the base firmly and twist the mounting ring counter clockwise to separate the two.

Next, determine where to place the unit. While the best place is directly on the ceiling, the second best place is on the wall, between 4” and 10” from the ceiling. If you’re placing the unit on the wall, make sure it’s below what’s referred to as the dead-air zone, which is a triangle formed where the wall meets the ceiling extending out 4” inches in both directions.

For our installation, we’re going to place the unit directly on the ceiling, making sure to stay clear of heat registers or return ducts, which can interfere with proper operation of the unit.

Now that we have located where to install our alarm, the next step is to locate where to drill the mounting holes by holding the mounting bracket in place and marking the mounting slots with a pencil.

Using a 3/16” (three sixteents) inch drill bit, we’ll drill holes through the marks we made.

Next, we’ll insert the expanding plastic sleeve anchors into the holes we just drilled and gently tap them in with a hammer. Then line up the mounting bracket over the anchors and screw the pan head screws that came with the unit into the anchors to secure the mounting bracket to the ceiling.

Insert the batteries into the unit and make sure they are working before attaching the alarm to the mounting bracket. Then twist the unit onto the mounting bracket and test it again to make sure it works.

There you have it. Now you can rest assured that you and your family are protected from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often you should change the batteries. In most alarms, the unit will start chirping when the batteries are growing weak, signaling it’s time to change them.

If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

Good luck with your project and thanks for watching.

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9 responses to “How to Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector”

  1. Great video…Thanks a lot.

  2. Lily says:

    What is the best choice for a home built in 1994, wireless or hard wire smoke detector?

  3. Greg Marcus says:

    Premier Fire Alarms, they are fantastic. They provided a fire risk assessment of my store in Plantation and their service was beyond comparison. Once I gave them the go ahead, they installed the fire systems in record time and were very confident about their job. I recommend them to anyone. Check out their website or call (954) 797-7692.

  4. pramod coolkarni says:


  5. JamminJamy says:

    Thanks for the information and the video! Here’s also a way to install smoke detectors and alarms easily without holes or mess, especially for ANYONE who may not be handy so they and their family can stay SAFE.

    Hope this helps:

  6. Mark says:

    Many thanks for the video! Very useful for me!
    What if I want to change battery at smoke detector but it is mounted to the wall. I have this detector and I’m afraid that I can damaged it because of my clumsiness!

    I will be very thankful for any advices!


  7. Sam says:

    Interesting information! I have just bought Schneider smoke detector ( and I was sure that it was impossible for me to install it by myself. But it seems it is not so difficult as I thought. I think I should try. And thanks everybody who gave other useful videos!

  8. this is a very good and more effective resource and informative idea about smoke. thanks a lot for this best idea

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