The Inspectify Report

Missing Smoke Detector

Feb 10, 2021 7:06:13 PM / by Inspectify

What it is:

Chances are you’re familiar with smoke detectors. But do you know how important they really are? 


According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, smoke alarms were missing in 40 percent of fatal home fires. In 17 percent of the same incidents, alarms were present but failed to operate correctly.


Having properly installed smoke detectors in your home could very easily save your life.


What it means:

Inspection reports that come back with a “Missing Smoke Detector” warning could mean that a smoke detector was once installed but is now missing, or it could mean that an alarm was never installed in what is now a required location.


Different states have different regulations regarding smoke detector placement & use, but a general rule of thumb is that alarms should be placed: 

  • In every bedroom
  • In hallways outside of a bedroom(s)
  • On every level of the home
  • At the top & bottom of staircases


How to fix it:

Usually this issue is as simple as purchasing a new smoke alarm, plugging it in, and adding a new battery – something that can be done easily by the buyer or the seller. If, however, an alarm is required in a room that isn’t set up for one, you’ll need to hire a professional electrician to wire for one.


How common is it:

25.3% of home inspections report missing smoke detectors


What does it cost to fix:



Written by Inspectify