Not Everything Is Smoke & Mirrors: Best in Smoke Alarms

Not Everything Is Smoke & Mirrors: Best in Smoke Alarms

Joel Pirela
Dec 6, 2010

This is not a magic trick. Your home is on fire and unless you have one of these little devices, you might be the last one to know what's happening. From battery operated to hardwired (recommended) units, these guys can save your life and your love ones, so we've gathered up our favorite models with the best features and best form factors.

Kidde P12010
This is the simpler and user friendly of smoke detector/carbon dioxide alarm. Dual sensor contains both a photoelectric and ionization sensor providing dual sensor protection in your home; Hush feature temporarily silences nuisance alarms; Battery backup provides protection even during a power outage; Red LED flashes every 30-40 seconds to indicate that the smoke alarm is operating properly; Test/Reset button tests units electronic circuitry and horn.

Silhouette KN COPF 1
No need to worry about faulty batteries with the Kidde KN-COPF-i Silhouette Low-Profile Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This no-maintenance alarm contains a rechargeable battery that runs off central electricity and lasts the lifetime of the unit. Dependable and easy to install, this alarm saves on labor and material costs over its lifetime. And because this alarm is interconnect-able, builders and do-it-yourself homeowners will quickly discover this is a must-have for remodels and new construction.

First Alert SA302CN
Ionization alarms sense fast, flaming fires, while photoelectric models better detect the smoke from slow smoldering ones. For the best protection, experts say you need to have both types of alarms or one model equipped with both technologies. Among the latter type, the First Alert SA302CN (Est. $25) smoke detector dominates professional and owner reviews. Reviewers say the First Alert SA302CN has some unusual features: Owners can test the battery or silence the 85-decibel alarm with a remote control. You might need to experiment a bit on placement, however. In user reviews, most complaints concern false alarms caused by the use of other remotes nearby (such as a TV remote control).

Just remember to have a pre-established plan in the event of a fire. Nothing beats the stress of hearing a fire alarm at 2:00 AM.

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