Department of Fire Rescue  |  Free Smoke Detector Installation

Free Smoke Detector Program

Thanks to generous grants from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs and the J.E. Berkley Foundation, the Department of Fire Rescue offers a free smoke detector program to bring residences into compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendations. Below is a snapshot of the details of the program:

  • The Department of Fire Rescue offers a limited free smoke detector program to bring single family residences into compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommendations.  
  • Free smoke detectors are available to homeowners who may not be able to afford/install detectors on their own.  
  • Interested homeowners may contact the Department of Fire Rescue at 434.296.5833 during normal business hours.
  • Interested parties can click here to fill out an online request form.


Smoke Alarm Installation Tips

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area.
  • Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire's location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it gives occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part. Alarms that are hard-wired should have battery backups in case of a power outage, and should be installed by a qualified electrician.
  • If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • If you or someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and/or sound.
  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceilings highest point.
  • Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.


Please contact our Prevention Divison & Office of the Fire Marshal for more information

Smoke Alarm Videos 

Contact the Department
Fire Rescue
460 Stagecoach Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902
FAX: 434-972-4123
Email the Department