Pros / Dual-sensor capabilities alert you to smoke from fast-burning and smoldering fires.
Cons / It has limited bonus features and doesn’t include a low-battery alarm silencer.
Verdict / The Kidde PI2010 ranks at the top of our list of best smoke detectors for having dual-sensor capabilities, top-quality support and interconnectivity with numerous Kidde devices.
Editor's note: On March 21, 2018, Kidde issued a recall for its Kidde Dual Sensor (Photoelectric and Ionization) Smoke Alarms – Models PI2010 and PI9010. To check if your Kidde smoke detector is part of the recall, we encourage you to visit Kidde's recall website. On an unrelated note, this review was previously removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Smoke Detectors here.
The Kidde PI2010 is a dual-sensor, hardwired smoke alarm that can detect smoke emitted from smoldering fires and flaming fires. It can be interconnected with as many as 24 Kidde devices and is backed by a 10-year manufacturer warranty. Help and support channels are numerous, including email and telephone support for troubleshooting.
Detection & Alerts
Multi-threat functionality is critical when it comes to smoke alarms, and the Kidde PI2010 offers the best coverage available on the market today. It comes with a built-in photoelectric sensor and ionization detector, which means this unit is capable of detecting different types of fires. Its photoelectric sensor is triggered by the presence of smoke from slow-burning, smoldering fires, such as those caused by still-burning cigarettes. Simultaneously, its ionization detector is triggered by fast-burning, flaming fires. When combined, this dual-sensor capability provides you with the best possible protection in the event of a fire in your home. The Kidde PI2010 does not include a carbon monoxide (CO) detector; however you may not need this if you do not have fuel-burning appliances in your home.
The Kidde PI2010 is a hardwired smoke detector that connects to your home’s electrical system. This kind of connectivity is more prevalent in newer homes and may not work in older homes that have not had their electrical system upgraded to modern code. If your home falls into the latter category, you may be better off purchasing wireless smoke detectors that operate on battery power and can be mounted anywhere. You can also speak to an electrician to discuss your options with respect to rewiring your home to facilitate a hardwired smoke alarm system.
Like all hardwired smoke alarms, and some battery-operated units, the Kidde PI2010 supports interconnectivity. This means that when one alarm is triggered, all of them will go off at the same time. This is a critically important feature that could alert you more quickly to a fire in your home, especially if smoke or fire is detected in an area of your home that would otherwise be difficult to hear. This smoke alarm can be interconnected with up to 24 compatible Kidde devices, with a limit of 12 smoke alarms in a single home. Bear in mind that interconnectivity only works with other compatible Kidde devices, such as smoke alarms, CO detectors, heat sensors and strobe lights.
Because the Kidde PI2010 is hardwired, battery power is only used as backup. The unit switches to backup battery power in the event of a power outage in your home and resumes normal electrical operation when power is restored. As a result, battery use is greatly diminished, and you may not have to replace batteries as frequently – still, it is strongly recommended that you replace your smoke detector batteries at a minimum of once every 12 months. This smoke detector requires a single 9-volt battery for backup purposes.
When backup battery power runs low, the Kidde PI2010 emits an audible chirp every 45 seconds to remind you to replace the battery. This is accompanied by a flashing red LED light on the front panel of the unit. A hush button on the face of the alarm can be pressed to silence an alarm for up to 10 minutes when it’s activated. After 10 minutes, if smoke is still detected, the alarm will sound off again. The volume of the alarm is 85 decibels, which is standard for all smoke detectors available in the U.S.
In addition to a hush button, the front face of the smoke detector houses a test button that can be pressed to verify the unit is in working order. This should be done once per week for optimal protection. Additionally, a green LED light indicates the unit is functioning properly. The Kidde PI2010 does not come with a combination voice alarm. It also does not include safety lights or a low-battery silencer.
The Kidde PI2010 makes the top of our list of best smoke detectors for its combination photoelectric and ionization sensors, which are strongly recommended to be able to detect different types of fires that may break out. Because it can be interconnected with up to 24 compatible Kidde devices, you can install a broad network of alert systems throughout your home that will offer maximum protection and peace of mind.