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Residential Smoke Detectors

General Information

Children can sleep through just about anything, which is often a blessing, but you certainly don't want them sleeping through the smoke alarm!  Protect the youngest members of your family with a smoke detector directly targeted toward them. The Vocal Smoke Alarm uses three different alarms to awaken your child, and since you can record the audio message in your voice, your child will hear his or her name spoken in a recognizable tone. The KidSmart™ Vocal Smoke Alarm lets you record a message specific to your child. While a child might sleep through a high-pitched alarm, hearing his or her own name spoken loudly by a parent is a more likely trigger to awaken him or her.  Since the Vocal Smoke Alarm includes an alarm tone, a vocal message, and a bright light ring that illuminates during drills and in case of an alarm, your child is three times more likely to respond.

Recording your message is easy on the Vocal Smoke Alarm. In addition to repeating your child's name, you can issue instructions about leaving the home in the event of a fire, reminding your child not to open a hot door or to cover his or her face if smoke is present. There's even a fire drill button on the Vocal Smoke Alarm so that you and your family can practice exiting the home as you would in the event of a real fire.  The Vocal Smoke Alarm is a battery-operated photoelectric smoke detector, which excels in detecting slow, smoldering fires. These fires produce a substantial amount of smoke before bursting into flame.


The White River Township Fire Department has purchased a limited quantity of these devices and is able to offer those at a much lower cost than individuals can purchase in the store.  If you are looking for one of these voice smoke detectors, you may purchase one for $20.00 at the White River Township Fire Department Headquarters, located at 850 South Mullinix Road, near the intersection of State Road 37 and Smith Valley Roads.  These are available during normal business hours (9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday).  If you have any questions you may call 888-8337 and ask to speak with someone in the Public Safety Division.

Installation Location

The placement of smoke detectors depends on the size and layout of your home, and where people sleep in your home. Since the primary job of a smoke detector is to awaken sleeping persons and warn them of urgent danger, you need to put a detector in each sleeping room and place additional detector(s) in the hallway or area by the bedrooms within five feet of the door to these rooms. In a house where the bedrooms are upstairs, one additional detector should be near the top of the stairs to the bedroom area. This assures that your path you use to exit from your bedrooms is also protected and will give you sufficient time to escape in the event of fire.

You do not want to put detectors within six inches of a corner or the location where walls and ceilings meet this area is usually dead airspace and smoke does not accumulate here. Also avoid areas near heating and cooling ducts. In these areas the air coming from your ducts will blow dust and dirt into the detector and cause many false activations. It also prevents smoke from accumulating in the detector to activate in the event of fire. 

If your home has more than one sleeping area on the same level or on different levels, a smoke detector should be installed in each sleeping area. For example, in a one-floor plan with only one sleeping area, the smoke detectors should be placed as shown below.

If your home has more than one sleeping area on the same level or on different levels (top), smoke detectors should be installed in each separate sleeping area and in each sleeping room.

Smoke detectors don't need much attention, regular testing and prompt replacement of batteries is all that is needed. Batteries will last approximately one year. If your battery-powered detector begins to emit its low-power warning sound (usually short beeps), remove the weak battery and replace it immediately with a fresh one. Have a new battery on hand always. However, if you neglect these requirements, your detector won't do its job if a fire starts. And this could result in major property damage and the loss of life in your home.     


If your home only has a smoke detector that is wired to your home’s electricity we recommend you install a battery operated detector also or replace your electric detector with a combination electric/battery detector. Battery operated smoke detectors are available at the Fire Headquarters Building on Morgantown Road.
Feel free to contact the Public Safety Division at 317-888-8337 for assistance with proper placement of smoke detectors or if you need help installing your smoke detectors.














If you are have further questions after review the following information, you can always call the Fire Prevention/ Public Safety Divisions and we can assist you in assuring you are installing the smoke detectors in the best locations throughout your home.




Sample Locations

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