Pros / It’s very easy to install, and you can network up to 12 smoke detectors in your home for comprehensive protection.
Cons / It takes a long time for these alarms to detect threats from distant sources, so you need to buy multiple devices to monitor your whole home.
Verdict / Despite its poor performance in our detection tests, the Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm provides adequate protection for you, your home and your family.
The Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm is a battery-powered smoke detector that’s easy to install, connect and use to monitor potential dangers in your home. When you connect a few of these units to your home’s Wi-Fi, they work together to ensure every room is notified when one detects a threat. The detector also has a voice alarm that calmly lets you know how to proceed. However, it took a relatively long time for an alarm to sound in our detection tests, and you can’t hardwire the device to your home’s electrical system. In addition, technical support is only available through email and the FAQs section on the company’s website.
When our reviewers tested this smoke detector, they noted that it was the easiest to install of all the devices we evaluated. This is because it is completely battery powered, so you don’t have to hardwire it into your home’s electrical grid. As such, you can put it nearly anywhere in your home. It’s convenient, but a hardwired connection, while more difficult to install, provides an extra layer of security if the battery dies.
This smoke detector can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, which allows a series of them to work together to provide more comprehensive protection. You can link up to 12 in the same network. Once you connect the Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm to your Wi-Fi, you can download the Wink (the developer of this device) app to your smartphone or tablet, which allows you to monitor your home remotely and receive mobile alerts when the alarm detects danger. This is very convenient if you’re away from home when an emergency occurs.
In our detection tests, the Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm performed the worst of all the devices we reviewed. (The best was our top pick - Nest Protect). For this test, we sprayed tester smoke from an aerosol can 5, 10 and 15 feet away from the detector. When we sprayed the smoke from the 5-foot mark, the alarm sounded in 23 seconds. This is the slowest response time we recorded during our testing phase. Additionally, it failed to detect the test smoke from the 10- and 15-foot marks. That doesn’t mean it can’t detect smoke from a distant source – it just takes longer before enough has accumulated to activate the alarm. This makes it very important to place multiple detectors throughout your home.
When the smoke alarm goes off, it not only blares a tone, but it also provides voice instructions, telling you where the threat is and how to proceed. Every networked alarm sounds when one detects a problem so everyone in the house knows they need to evacuate.
Although this Kidde smoke alarm is easy to install, connect and use, there may be times when you need technical assistance. You can consult the FAQs section on the company’s website to get quick answers to common questions. If your problem isn’t covered there, you can also contact the company via email. It would be nice to see more help options such as phone and live chat support.
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The Kidde Smoke and CO Alarm is a decent way to monitor your home for potential dangers, but you need to buy multiple devices to protect your entire home. It has voice alerts and a handy app you can use to monitor your home remotely. However, it doesn’t detect smoke very fast and has limited help and support options.