First, the name. It seems to be difficult for many of us.  It’s pronounced Kidd-uh, not Kiddie. These new, value laden products are needed in every home and apartment. For the record, Kidde is also a leading supplier of home and office fire extinguishers and other home safety products. Here’s the drill.


Aging battery-powered smoke alarms can become clogged with dust, dirt, airborne contaminants and even insects.  If yours is/are about 10 years old, please replace them. If you do not know the age, replace them!

Here is a guide to what to get from Kidde.  The model suggested on Kidde model i9010, currently best-priced at $20 at The Home Depot  Isn’t there one near you? I could not find a better price, at least for now.  Yes, other brands feature this sealed, disposable design. I favor the Kidde because of its simple design and HUSH button AND the competitive price in-store at The Home Depot.

Mount them as dictated by codes or regulations in your area, and add my suggestion after following local codes.  This model’s 10-year sealed design features an internal Lithium battery.  In 10 years, when the unit chirps, replace it, plain and simple, and easy as can be. I LOVE this feature!

Test monthly with the TEST button and LED.  It’s warranted for that full 10 years as well!  Buy what you need, put them up, test monthly and forget about it for 10 years. There is a center-mounted and marked PUSH TO HUSH button to quickly silence the loud tone. Sweet! Heed the warning, however.  I would NOT use this one for protect the kitchen area.  Keep reading.

My suggestion is a combination of both the Kidde fire AND Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm and their 10-year maintenance-free Sealed Battery Smoke Alarm. The 10-year sealed unit has a warranty of 10 years.  The Intelligent CombinationAlarm has an industry-leading seven-year warranty.

Why both?

Check your local building codes for requirements, but start with what I like.  Code-permitting, I like a smoke alarm in every bedroom and every living area.  Some codes require them to be placed outside of bedrooms.  Were I in that situation, I’d put them outside AND inside every bedroom.  My family is more important than a few bucks spent on such protection.

I like the new combo alarm, dubbed Intelligent Alarm, Kidde NightHawk model KN-COSMXTR-B – Talking Alarm that uses three included AA batteries in the kitchen area, one in each hallway and adjacent to an inside area where a natural gas- or LP-driven water heater resides.  OR, in an attached garage if the garage has a natural gas- or LP gas-fired furnace.  This could also be in a basement or attic.  The Intelligent Alarm detects smoke, fire and Carbon Monoxide.  This intelligent design reduces nuisance alarms, such as from the kitchen when the bacon smokes, your stovetop burgers smoke and so on.

Click here for the Kidde page on the new combo alarms, then click right of where it reads, “Model KN-COSM-XTR-B” to download the PDF of the DATA SHEET for this product.

Searching for the best price available for this NEW NightHawk model, I did not find it locally. I DID find it for about $35 TODAY, best priced at, including free shipping.  That’s a deal, but check locally, as well.

Here at Gadget Central, we have a traditional battery-operated smoke alarm on a vertical surface just outside the kitchen.  We keep a kitchen towel at the ready to fan it to stop its squawking in situations described above, and it happens quite often, despite our best efforts.  My test was to install this Kidde NightHawk Intelligent Alarm immediately next to the squawker.  Well, what do you know? No more nuisance alarms due to cooking.  Thank you Kidde!  Just that simple.

But wait, there’s more!  This Kidde Intelligent Alarm is a talking, er, speaking alarm.  Yes! In addition to fewer nuisance alarms, it eliminates confusion with its voice system that states “FIRE!” or “Carbon Monoxide Detected” accompanied by its loud 85-decibel attention-commanding tone when fire or is detected.  The big button quickly de-squawks and silences the alarm.  Of course, the same button, also used as the test button should be used monthly.  Unlike others that MUST plug in, this one uses three inexpensive AA batteries (I recommend alkaline AA cells).  I get my AA alkaline batteries, for example, at Costco – 48 alkaline AA Kirkland-branded batteries for about $12, with a seven-year shelf life.  That’s dirt cheap and the batteries are every bit as good as any other-branded batteries. My tests proved that.  The same batteries are used in everything from remote controls to thermostats, clocks, toys and games.

I also like that this model does not plug in, regardless of power outages.  I, perhaps as you, have been confused as to where to plug in an AC model of a CO combo alarm.  For that reason, I had delayed for many months, going back and forth with another manufacturer.  Wall plugs are not always convenient to the area to be covered.  This Kidde model eliminates mounting confusion.

The VOICE also alerts “LOW BATTERY” and a blinking light confirms it.  With the cheap cost of good batteries, change them twice a year, at clock change time for standard and daylight savings.

Remember, because both models are battery operated, they function during power outages.

These are ideal for anyone venturing out and into a new apartment or home and for the handy dad in a new home or apartment or just to freshen the alarm situation, starting fresh so all are up and working within days of one another.

There you have it – TWO essential, even mandatory safety products from Kidde.  Thank you, Kidde!

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