How Much Does It Cost to Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Typical Range:

$10 - $75

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated October 13, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The cost to install a smoke detector ranges from $10 to $75, with an average battery-powered model costing about $25 if you install it yourself. Combination smoke detectors (ionized and photoelectric) cost between $40 and $75. Smoke alarms cost less than carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, which start at $20 and can go up to $150. High-end combination smoke and CO detectors can cost as much as $200.When hiring a professional, the average cost to install a smoke detector is $65.

Average Smoke and CO Detector Costs

Average Cost Low Cost High Cost
$25 $200 $10

Smoke Detector Installation Costs

How much are smoke detectors? The cost of smoke detectors starts at $10 and can go up to $75 for specialized features. A smoke detector generates an audible alarm when it detects smoke, which forms one part of a complete fire control system. Smoke detectors typically run on replaceable batteries, making them easy to install, and use ionization, optical devices, or a combination of both methods to detect smoke.

To install smoke detectors throughout your home, you’ll need basic tools and a ladder. If you aren’t comfortable using a drill or standing on a ladder and can’t find a friend or family member to help, you can hire a handyperson for the installation. Each battery-operated smoke alarm will take about 15 minutes to install, and handyperson services cost between $60 and $65 per hour.

Smoke Detector Prices

The cost of an ionized smoke detector runs between $10 and $40. A chamber with two electrodes passing an electrical current between them triggers an alarm when smoke enters the chamber, which lowers the chamber's ionization level. These smoke detectors are best for fast-moving fires, as opposed to smoky fires.

An optical smoke detector starts at $20 on the low end but can go as high as $60. This type uses a photoelectric detector to detect smoke when it scatters a light source. It doesn't respond as quickly to flame-heavy fires as an ionization smoke detector, but it's better at detecting smoldering fires.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homes have both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors. You can purchase combination ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms for as little as $40, but they can reach up to $75.

Hardwired Smoke Detector Installation Costs

The cost to hardwire smoke detectors throughout the house ranges from $80 to $120 per hour, depending on the contractor’s experience and the complexity of the project. Because this process involves connecting the smoke detectors to your power supply, most homeowners should hire a local electrician to handle the installation.

The cost of hardwired smoke detectors is slightly higher than battery-operated detectors—usually $20 on the low end for a basic ionization sensor.

Hardwired smoke detectors are linked to one another, meaning if one alarm detects smoke in the basement, a connected detector two floors up will also sound. In the event of a power outage, hardwired smoke detectors can rely on backup batteries.

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Commercial Fire Alarm System Cost

A complete commercial fire alarm system costs between $2 and $12 per square foot. The range varies widely because commercial systems are highly customized, so they don't have fixed prices. Commercial properties also need a monitoring service, which costs another $50 to $60 per month.

Talk to a fire alarm professional near you to get an accurate price quote for a commercial installation. A specialist in commercial installations should also be able to recommend specific products and designs.

Fire Alarm Panel Prices

The cost of a fire alarm panel can go as high as $800. This component is a vital part of a fire alarm system since it controls the alarms. Other parts of the system that may require periodic emplacement include a carbon monoxide sensor, which costs between $50 and $80.

Smoke alarms typically require 9-volt batteries that cost $3 to $4 each. Check the batteries each time you buy other parts of a fire alarm system, so you can replace the dead batteries.

Cost to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

The cost of a carbon monoxide detector falls between $20 and $150. Like smoke alarms, your CO detector can be battery-powered or hardwired, with the latter generally costing more and requiring professional installation. You can also purchase plug-in CO detectors, which makes installation easy.

As with smoke alarms, many homeowners are comfortable installing battery-powered CO detectors, but you can find a general contractor near you to assist for roughly $55 to $75 an hour on top of the cost of the unit. To hardwire CO detectors throughout your home, you’ll spend $80 to $120 per hour.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Prices

As mentioned above, the typical carbon monoxide detector price can range from $20 to $150, based on whether the detector is a biomimetic, electrochemical, or semiconducting type.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Type Average Cost Range How They Work
Biomimetic $20 – $50 Contains synthetic hemoglobin, which darkens when CO enters the machine
Electrochemical $50 – $130 Uses a platinum electrode and acid that generates an electric current in the presence of CO
Semiconducting $75 – $150 Rarer than other types and contains a semiconductor made of a metal oxide, such as tin dioxide, that changes its electrical resistance in the presence of CO and generates an alarm
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Combination Smoke and CO Detector Costs

The cost of a combination smoke and CO detector starts at $35 for a basic unit. A combination detector with internet connectivity and smart capabilities can go as high as $200. Substantial volume discounts are available for all combo detectors.

Cost to Replace Smoke and CO Detectors

The cost of replacing smoke and CO detectors is generally the cost of the unit itself (about $10 to $200 each). Because the infrastructure already exists, many homeowners can simply pop in the new one without needing tools (though you may still need a ladder).

For hardwired smoke detectors, you’ll still want to have a local electrician perform the installation. But when they’re replacing existing units, they can work much faster, keeping labor costs down.

In addition, you should also replace alarms at this time if you have a connected alarm system to ensure its components are compatible. Prices for a new alarm system can range between $1 and $12 per square foot, plus the cost of labor ($80 to $120 per hour).

Extra Features and Cost Factors

The cost of smoke detectors increases over the typical $10 to $75 range when you spring for extra features, including voice alert and escape lights.

Special Feature Average Cost Range
Voice alert $50 – $125
Escape lights $50 – $125
Smart device $75 – $175

Voice Alert Smoke Detectors

An individual smoke detector with voice alert costs between $50 and $125. While expensive, these smoke detectors provide vital information in an emergency. Through voice alert, they can broadcast where the fire is and if it’s a fire or CO emergency.

Escape Light Smoke Detectors

If someone in your family is deaf or hard of hearing, smoke detectors with lights can help communicate an emergency; lights flash when the alarm is triggered. Escape light smoke detectors cost $50 to $125 per unit.

Smart Smoke Detectors

Though smart smoke detectors can be expensive, ranging from $75 to $175, they can be immensely helpful in the event of a fire.

With traditional smoke alarms, you need to be in your home to hear or see the alert. But with a smart smoke detector, an alert can go straight to your phone or smart device. If you’re away from home, but there are children or pets in the house, you can quickly call 911 and head home to ensure the firefighter team helps everyone make it out safely.

Smart smoke detectors are just one way to make your home “smarter.” Though it can vary widely, a smart home system costs about $800.

DIY Smoke and CO Detector Installation vs. Hire a Pro

Installing a single smoke or CO detector shouldn’t be too difficult for someone with basic DIY skills. The primary challenge is ensuring you place the detector in an area where it will quickly detect smoke and CO.

If you’re not comfortable with a drill or on a ladder, you can find a handyperson in your area to help with the install. You should always hire a professional electrician to perform a hardwired installation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where should a carbon monoxide detector be placed?

A carbon monoxide detector should be placed on each floor (near the main exit on each floor). You also need one close to each bedroom. Keep the detector away from normal sources of carbon monoxide, such as the kitchen and appliances that produce heat. You can plug carbon monoxide detectors into the wall, but you can also install battery-powered detectors or have CO detectors hardwired into your home, like a smoke detector.

Can a smoke detector be installed on a wall?

You can install a smoke detector on a wall, although there are considerations that affect its exact placement. A smoke detector should be at eye level to ensure you can easily make adjustments like replacing the battery; if you live in a home with higher ceilings, however, you’ll want to install it higher up. It’s also important to ensure that the unit isn’t on a part of the wall that’s critical for other purposes.

What are some easy ways to prevent fires?

Some easy ways to prevent fires include regularly testing your smoke detector to ensure you receive alerts if there is a fire. To prevent fires in general, make sure to regularly remove lint from your dryer, which can catch fire, and frequently check all heat sources. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of a small grease fire. If you have a chimney, consider getting it professionally cleaned. 

If your home has been damaged by smoke or fire, you may need to cover smoke and fire remediation costs, averaging nearly $19,500.

How long do wired smoke detectors last?

Wired smoke detectors last about 10 years, and you should replace them every 10 years. In fact, that’s the general rule of thumb for any type of smoke detector, whether it’s hardwired or battery-powered. Though some smoke detectors may last longer, it’s always good to be on the safe side. Test your smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are working properly, and replace batteries (or the entire unit) as needed.

Are hardwired smoke detectors better than battery?

Hardwired smoke detectors are better than battery-powered smoke detectors in every category. Though they are slightly more expensive and you’ll have to budget for the cost of an electrician to install them, they are more reliable because they are interconnected and have two power sources (electric and a backup battery). They are also easier to maintain and can be more attractive to potential buyers when selling your home.