A couple of months ago, my sister-in-law set a pan of meatballs on the stove to cook while her girls were playing outside with their dad. She popped outside for what was meant to be just a couple of minutes and ended up totally forgetting the meatballs—that is, until my niece walked into the house and quickly called out that the whole place was thick with smoke. Oddly enough, their alarm didn’t go off at all. Luckily, only the pan was scorched (the meatballs ended up in the compost), but it could have been so much worse. It was also a big wakeup call to me to replace the ancient alarms in our home.
Though I’m usually pretty intimated by any piece of technology, the Kidde Wireless 2-in-1 Talking Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm was a cinch to install (it even came with the batteries—one less thing for me to forget!). The fact that it doubles as a carbon monoxide detector is a huge bonus as I have a little one with a penchant for pulling out the ones we currently have plugged into the wall sockets. Another thing I loved about this unit is that you can buy multiple ones and wirelessly connect them, so if one detects smoke or carbon monoxide, they all sound an alarm. And if you have a Wink hub, you can connect this alarm and monitor what’s going on remotely with the Wink app.
In case of an emergency or low battery, the voice feature will tell you (in English and French) what the issue is. It's important to make sure you have an escape plan that the whole family is familiar with so everyone will know how to react in case of an emergency. (Practicing that plan is key—conduct a fire drill the same as kids would at school.) In the event that the alarm goes off when you're cooking, the unit has a Test/Hush button that allows you to turn the alarm off for eight minutes. The button is large and easy to access (which also makes it super convenient to do regular checks), and pressing it on one alarm will silence all connected units.
The unit is built to last for 10 years, and Kidde makes that easy to remember. They’ve put a sticker right on the alarm where you can write down the date of install and the day is needs to be replaced. For an additional cue, the unit will also chirp after 10 years of use. And there's a limited 10-year warranty, so Kidde has you covered for the product’s lifetime.
We so often take for granted that our fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will work when we need them that we often don’t even think about it. This alarm makes it so simple to keep our family’s safety at the forefront.
Sadiya Dendar is a writer who lives in the GTA with her husband and son.
The Kidde Wireless 2-in-1 Talking Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a Today’s Parent Approved 2016 winner. Keeping your kids safe is every parent’s No. 1 priority. This super simple battery-powered alarm has sensors for both smoke and carbon monoxide, and it connects wirelessly to other compatible alarms in your home—so when one goes off, they all do, with the voice feature calling out “Fire!” or “Carbon monoxide!” It’s also compatible with the Wink hub and app, which can send instant alerts to your smartphone if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. $64.99, homedepot.ca