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You may not think about how well the smoke alarm in your home is helping to keep you safe until that annoying beeping starts, telling you that it’s time to change the batteries. But consider — when was the last time you replaced your smoke alarms entirely? If it’s been more than 10 years, there’s a good chance they’re past their useful life, and it’s time to make the swap to new ones.
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Whether you buy a simple, battery-operated detector, or a newer smart alarm built with enhanced features, there are a few key features you should look for in the best smoke alarms. Having a house full of interconnected alarms (you should have more than one) has its advantages and helps to ensure that you and your family stay safe, especially if the system is sensitive enough to alert you to the beginning stages of a fire.
The Home Depot is teaming up with Kidde, a maker of top fire safety and detection products, to raise awareness of fire safety gaps in knowledge through their “Cause for Alarm™” campaign. This safety initiative brings light to the fact that residential fires have actually increased since the pandemic began, and almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms. By making sure your house is equipped with not only smoke alarms, but also carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, you can gain the peace of mind that you’ll be prepared in an emergency.
To help safeguard you and your family, every alarm unit purchased from now until November 30 of this year, a $1 contribution will be made toward alarm donations to communities in need, up to a total retail value of $1,000,000. For more information on the campaign, visit CauseforAlarm.org.
So how can you practice good fire safety in your own home? With the right tools and fire safety products from The Home Depot, Kidde’s got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about helping to protect everyone under your roof, as well as the best products we recommend to build up your home’s smoke detection this fire season.
How to Find the Best Smoke Alarm
Here’s a few things to look out for when picking the best fire safety products, as well as our top choices from Kidde’s line of smoke alarms to keep your home safe.
Battery Life: You’re going to want to look for smoke alarms with a rock-solid power source, especially so they won’t lose power during an outage. Kidde’s fire safety products have sealed, 10-year lithium batteries that will last for years to come (up until when you should replace the unit itself).
Interconnected Systems: Like we mentioned before, your home should really have a system of alarms (especially if you have multiple floors). Kidde’s fire systems can be hardwire connected and sync alarms across the entire house, so you’ll be alerted even if one unit picks up smoke particles on another floor. Some even have voice alerts that tell you in spoken words what room it’s sensing trouble in.
Useful Life: What’s the smoke alarm rule of thumb? “Toss at 10, then start again.” To make sure your system is working as well as it can be, it’s best to toss your smoke alarms after a decade and replace with fresh detectors entirely — not just fresh batteries.
1. Kidde 10 Year Worry-Free Smoke Detector 2-Pack
Kidde’s smoke detector 2-pack is the easiest way to bring fire safety into your home. The photoelectric sensing technology detects smoke particles before you can see them, so you’ll have more time to act when there’s a fire. The 10-year, long-lasting lithium battery means your detector won’t cut out during a power outage, and you won’t have to deal with those annoying low battery chirps. An LED light follows the alarm sound pattern and blinks to indicate that it’s working properly, whether there’s smoke or fire, or when it’s in Hush mode. After 10 years, you’ll hear a dedicated alarm chirp so you know that it’s time to replace the system.
10-Year Worry-Free Smoke Detector 2-Pack
2. Firex Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector 2-Pack
Kidde’s FireX Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarm offers detection of two hazards at once — fire and CO — all in one unit. While these require hardware AC-wire installation, we like is that there’s a 9V battery backup alarm just in case the power goes out. Voice warnings also clearly announce whether the danger is from “Fire” or “Warning Carbon Monoxide”. In addition to voice alerts, these detectors have a photoelectric smoke sensor, which may detect visible fire particles, like the kind in slow, smoldering fires, sooner than an ionization sensor. The front loading battery compartment also makes it quick and easy to refresh with new batteries.
Firex Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector 2-Pack
3. Firex Carbon Monoxide Detector
You can help protect your family with Kidde’s Firex Carbon Monoxide Detector, which is built to alert you to the presence of this poisonous gas, even during power outages. If you already have a smoke detector system, this is a good add-on for your home since it uses an electrochemical sensor to detect the odorless CO gas that your regular smoke detector can miss. It uses two AA batteries and features a test/reset button that not only lets you make sure the carbon monoxide detector is working, but also allows you to silence the alarm. Similar to a smoke detector, after 10 years of use, a chirp will indicate that it’s time to replace the entire carbon monoxide detector.
Firex Carbon Monoxide Detector
4. Code One Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
If you’re looking for a combination alarm system without breaking the bank, Kidde’s Code One detector is a great way to help ensure your home is protected for less. There’s no hardwire installation required with this battery-operated smoke and CO alarm — simply replace with new AA batteries every six months to avoid the low battery chirp. Even with a streamlined design, it still has a voice system that eliminates any confusion, warning you about specific fire and carbon monoxide threats, as well as low battery and smart Hush activation. The alarm also has a convenient peak level memory, and will alert you if a carbon monoxide level of 100 PPM or higher was previously detected in your home.
Code One Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
5. Kidde Basic Use Fire Extinguisher 2-Pack
Fire safety is more than just making sure you’ve got smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. Just in case of emergencies, we also recommend having a working fire extinguisher on-hand to address fires that start quickly. This 2-pack from Kidde has compact, 3.9-pound ABC-rated extinguishers that you can pick up and use quickly (note: these are for one-time use only, though). You’ll get an eight second, high-velocity discharge to quickly extinguish a fire from each extinguisher. Make sure you remember P.A.S.S. when firing, too — Pull the safety pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever and Sweep from side to side.
Kidde Basic Use Fire Extinguisher 2-Pack
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