Three Household Detectors That Can Save Lives

Whether you’re worried about potential fire or toxic gasses destroying your home or threatening those you care about, a modern alarm can help you avoid trouble before it happens.

A “smart” alarm can pair to your phone and work with other “smart” devices in your home to create a blanket of protection.Google

Even if having a smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector in every bedroom and hallway wasn’t a good idea in and of itself, many building codes now require it for new construction. Of course, fire is usually an obvious danger, but carbon monoxide is a silent killer—an invisible, tasteless, and odorless threat that sickens tens of thousands of people every year. Or worse. Fortunately, many modern smoke detectors are integrated with on-board CO detection, making it easy to protect your property and family from both hazards with one unit. Here are a few different options to consider, each with their own best-use application.

Battery Operated

First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector
If you don’t have the proper electrical hookups for a fire alarm in a specific room, there are battery-operated models that are just as effective.First Alert

If you just need some extra protection in a specific room or want to retrofit an old structure with smoke detection, a battery-operated unit is easier to install than one that has to be hardwired to the home’s electrical system. A battery-operated smoke detector is effective, affordable insurance against catastrophe.


Kidde Nighthawk Plug-In AC/DC Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector
Carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous gasses you can have in your home because it’s lethal and odorless.Kidde

AC/DC-powered detectors that plug in to a wall outlet are a great way to add extra security to any room, shop, basement, or garage that might not normally be mandated by code for a detector. They run off the structure’s electrical system, so you don’t have to worry about battery failure rendering the unit—and potentially you—incapacitated. However, take note that some plug-in detectors will sense both smoke and CO threats, while others are only meant for one type or another.

Smart Alarms

Google, Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The great thing about “smart” alarms is you can pair devices to your computer or smartphone and be aware of emergencies when you might be far from home.Google

Voice-enabled detectors are state of the art. Get a spoken warning inside the house whenever there is a threat or receive an emergency notification via smartphone to know when and where danger lurks. A smart alarm is expensive, but many reviewers find the extra features, such as voice alerts, remote silencing functions, and interconnectivity with other household smart devices well worth the money.