How to Install a Heat Detector

Heat detectors are an integral part of any home fire safety system. These items are meant to be used in conjunction with smoke detectors in the home. Place a heat detector in areas where high levels of dust or fumes, such as kitchens, boiler rooms basements or garages, might disable a smoke detector. With proper placement, installation and maintenance, heat detectors help keep your home and family safe.

Decide the location of your heat detector. Place one within 2 feet of any smoke alarms in your home, for added protection. Install a heat detector in any unfinished space, such as an attic or a basement. Place them also in boiler rooms, garages or kitchens, where there may be high levels of dust or fumes, as these may disable conventional smoke alarms.

Purchase as many heat detectors as you've decided you need for your home. Heat detectors are available for purchase at department stores, hardware stores as well as online. Test the detector before purchasing to ensure it is loud enough if it is to be placed in an area that is not commonly used, such as the attic or an unfinished basement.

Ensure the placement of your new heat detector will not prohibit it from functioning. Do not place a heat detector in humid places, as this may prevent heat from reaching the sensor, rendering it useless. Heat detectors may not work properly in bathrooms, or near washing machines, dishwashers, window moulding, heating or cooling ducts and air returns. Do not place heat detectors in rooms where the temperature may rise above 37.8 degrees C or drop below minus -12.2 degrees C. Also, keep heat detectors away from fluorescent lighting fixtures, as the flickering and electrical noise may affect their function.

Install your heat detector on a clean area with the materials provided in the package and a screwdriver.

Test the heat detectors every 3 months or every time you test the smoke detectors in your home.

Maintain your heat detector by changing the batteries at least every 6 months. Ensure it continues working properly by wiping it with a dry cloth every time you change the batteries, to keep dust from accumulating on the sensors.


Always install your new heat detector with fresh batteries, even if batteries were provided by the manufacturer.


A heat detector is not a replacement for a smoke alarm, but meant to be used in conjunction with one.

Things You'll Need

  • Installation materials that accompany heat detector
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Sofia Rodrigues has been writing professionally for six years and has worked for various print and online magazines, including "Make" and Guttersnipe. Her field of expertise ranges from early childhood development to sports and comedy writing. She studied semiotics and English at the University of Toronto.