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847 of 871 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAVED MY FAMILIES LIFE!!!
We live in a 4 level split home. Our gas furnace is on the lower, 3rd level. Two years ago we had several smoke alarms, but only one carbon monoxide detector on the top, bedroom level of our home. One early Saturday morning we awoke to the voice of this alarm broadcasting, "WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTED!" over and over again. I got out of bed and took the batteries...
Published on December 7, 2008 by RMT

versus
159 of 171 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ineffective at detecting smoldering fires
I just started renting a new home where the landlord has 3 of these detectors installed, one on each level. Today, my roommate and I decided to have a fire in the fireplace, then had to leave to grab something from the store. We extinguished the fire (we thought) and left, only to come back an hour later with the house completely filled with smoke. None of the detectors...
Published on January 2, 2011 by moral.hazard


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847 of 871 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAVED MY FAMILIES LIFE!!!, December 7, 2008
By 
RMT "RMT" (Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
We live in a 4 level split home. Our gas furnace is on the lower, 3rd level. Two years ago we had several smoke alarms, but only one carbon monoxide detector on the top, bedroom level of our home. One early Saturday morning we awoke to the voice of this alarm broadcasting, "WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTED!" over and over again. I got out of bed and took the batteries out of the unit. By then my then 16 year old daughter came out of her room and was watching me. I told her to go back to bed, but she asked me why we weren't going outside to our designated emergency spot. I thought I was being a bad example after all the years of telling the children to get our of the house if an alarm went off. I didn't think there was a problem. I assumed the unit was broken or needed a new battery. I wasn't thinking clearly. So, I put the batteries back in to see if it would go off again. It did. She again asked why we weren't following the rules and going outside, so we left the house and called 911.

When the firemen arrived I kept apologizing for calling them to our home for an obvious mistake. I thought the firemen would tell us it was a false alarm. It wasn't. The heater core had cracked and was leaking carbon monoxide. The levels were high enough to make us confused, but not yet put us to sleep. Had my daughter not watched me handle the alarm I would have gone back to sleep without ever putting the batteries back in. We were very lucky to have my daughter and this CM detector.

The voice made everything so much clearer than just a siren. If it hadn't said "carbon monoxide" I would have left the batteries out and gone back to sleep because I couldn't see any smoke or fire and I was tired. I don't think I would have thought about carbon monoxide. It was well worth every penny. I now have CM detectors on every floor of my home. This talking carbon monoxide detector helped save my families life.
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218 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Combination Life-Safety Alarm that is a Good Choice As A Stand Alone or As Part of A Total Home Safety Alert Plan, February 1, 2007
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This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
I've installed installed two of these Kidde brand combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in my elder parents home. I have one in my own home as well and have found them all to be reliable and trouble free.

What attracted me to this model were its many features:

First, it has a low profile, attractive and unobtrusive design.

Second and perhaps most important, it has a voice speaking function that, in addition to the 85db alert horn, will speak out clear warnings: "FIRE, FIRE" or "DANGER: CARBON MONOXIDE". I think that this feature is a terrific addition toward modern life-safety technology. Indeed, you will likely see more voice warning devices in the near future.

We rely on these detectors to warn us, especially at night when we are sleeping. Awakening to this detector from a deep sleep helps orient you quickly by telling you the specific danger -- clearly and unmistakably. Notably, recent studies have shown that children can sleep through traditional smoke detector alarms, but will respond to voice warnings -- which this unit provides. Thus, placed in or near bedrooms this device can be a true lifesaver.

Another favorite feature is ease of installation. It was a breeze and truly could not be simpler. A screwdriver is all you need. A small power drill/driver would speed the process, but is not necessary. Two screws into the ceiling or wall and you are done with the mounting bracket. The detector then just clicks in to place with a clockwise flick of the wrist. This is a do-it-yourselfer's dream. It doesn't get any easier!

Battery maintenance is easy too as all you need do is turn the detector counter-clock wise a few clicks, and down it comes. You slide open the battery cover, take out the old batteries and pop in the new. Replace the detector back in the attached ceiling bracket, give it a slight turn and in it goes with a firm click. Done! Easier than screwing in a light bulb.

Finally, the price is right! Under $40 for a unique life-safety device that is quickly installed and easily maintained.

I have elected to use Energizer lithium batteries and replace them every 12 months -- with no problems. You may wish to change the batteries every 6 or 9 months. Duracells would also be a good choice. I personally would not use the cheaper, so called "heavy duty" batteries in a life-safety device.

I should add that I would also suggest that if you have a home with multiple levels or an apartment with several rooms, having a separate stand-alone carbon monoxide detector elsewhere in the house as part of a total home plan would be a wise investment. Kidde also makes a fine combination model that protects against Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas. That unit, which has a digital display, runs on electricity and has a battery back-up system. It plugs in any electric outlet and can stay in the wall socket, or it can be placed flat on a table or dresser.

I would also recommend Kidde's dedicated Dual Sensor combination Photoelectric/Ionization smoke detectors. These dual sensor devices provide maximum warning under fast or slow moving fire conditions -- conditions coming from a smoldering mattresses (slow) or drapery (fast) fire, just two examples. As one never knows what kind of fire could occur, these are the most versatile.

Be sure to test your alarm regularly. REMEMBER that most Carbon Monoxide detectors NEED TO BE REPLACED about every 5 to 7 years (see manufacturer's guidelines). **This model has a built-in "end of life" function that beeps when the unit is 7 years old -- indicating it's time to replace it with a new one.** Similarly, smoke detectors have a useable life span as well. It's usually a little longer than carbon monoxide detectors, typically 10 years, but do check your manufacturer's guidelines.

Hope this was helpful.
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159 of 171 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ineffective at detecting smoldering fires, January 2, 2011
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
I just started renting a new home where the landlord has 3 of these detectors installed, one on each level. Today, my roommate and I decided to have a fire in the fireplace, then had to leave to grab something from the store. We extinguished the fire (we thought) and left, only to come back an hour later with the house completely filled with smoke. None of the detectors went off. It turns out the fire was still smoldering when we left, but we had closed the flue because we thought it was completely out. Thankfully there was no damage, just a thick smoke smell throughout the house, and it really was fortunate that we found out this way that the smoke detectors are useless.

For some reason, the house being entirely filled with smoke was not enough for the smoke detector to see any cause for alarm. I'm taking down all three detectors and replacing them with photoelectric detectors immediately; according to my research, photoelectric detectors are much less likely to cause false alarms from cooking smoke and are more reliable in detecting all kinds of fires, not just the hot flamey ones.

Also, carbon monoxide detectors should have a digital indicator of current CO levels, not just an alarm when the detector decides the levels are dangerous. A malfunctioning alarm could end up not signaling when even the lowest levels of CO are present and end up getting you sick or killed, whereas one with a digital readout will always tell you if there is ANY CO present in the home.
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474 of 538 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not sure about this product, October 28, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
After looking at the excellent ratings for this product, I purchased two units and installed them - one each in the bedroom and the utility room. One day, I was getting the toddler to sleep when I smelt smoke and something burning. Upon exiting the bedroom (which has one detector), I noticed that the house was full of thick black smoke from a "microwave cooking accident". There was no fire. The fact that the smoke detector did not go off bothered me and I did a bit of reading on the detection systems. Turns out that there are two detection mechanisms - ionization and photoelectric...and to cut a long story short, one needs to have both types of mechanisms in operation. The manual of this product pretty much says the same thing on page 6. However, it does not tell me which smoke detection technology the unit uses - information that I can use to purchase a different smoke detector with the other mechanism to compliment this one. I can only know how good this product is when it responds to something that triggers it. It did not pick up smoke that I picked up by smelling, and the documentation is inadequate. That is why I give it a one.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nearly expired device was delivered as new, January 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
I ordered this device 3 years ago. Just yesterday, my device starting chirping as if it needed a new battery. After replacing the battery, it kept chirping and I realized from the instruction manual it was an "end of life" chirp. These occur when the device is 7 years old... I glanced down and saw the "manufactured on" date is 2006 which is 7 years ago. So in 2011, Amazon sold me a device that was manufactured in 2006.

Of course there's nothing I can do about it 3 years later... so people, be sure to check that date on the device if you buy it or else you'll wind up an unhappy customer like I am when it starts chirping before the 7 years is up.
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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid dual-use alarm; just one small caveat, June 13, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
This is my third Kidde smoke-CO alarm. (I left the previous two in previous residences.) I bought a Kidde because from firsthand experience their alarms are reliable. This one features dual smoke-and-CO detection, and has a computer-generated voice that says "fire" or "carbon monoxide" or "low battery" in addition to eardrum-piercing sirens. The alarm uses 3 AA batteries (3 Energizers included in package), and so far I've found the battery life to be satisfying.

One minor caveat is the alarm will stop working after 7 years, due to the ionic sensor's limited life span. I believe this to be true of most home alarms. Since I plan to move (yet again) in a few years, this is not a problem for me.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BUY, June 29, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
Best buy per Consumers Report. We are very happy with our purchase and are confident that it will work if ever needed.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific product, December 4, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm (Tools & Home Improvement)
This product provides the protection that I wanted all in one package (amoke/fire and carbon-monoxide). Installs in a snap and works well. Although I have to say my wife finds the voice to annoying, hopefully we never have to hear it!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frequent false alarms, August 25, 2010
We had had constant false alarms from this device. If you get a pan hot, it goes off. If you boil water it goes off. When we open the dishwasher it goes off. the constant false alarms make it worthless as a detector.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Safety First!, August 6, 2005
After someone explained to me that "beeping" noises of smoke alarms do not always wake people (especially children), I looked into this `talking alarm'. It is amazing. Instead of that annoying `beep-beep', you hear either a vocal, "Fire! Fire!" or "Carbon Monoxide!". Not all smoke alarms will detect carbon monoxide and any firefighter, policeman or paramedic will tell you that carbon monoxide can be just as deadly. Plus, this kit comes with batteries and a DVD that shows firefighters in action. This is the kind of protection every family needs and at the price, it can't be beat. You can easily test it weekly and a small green light will tell you if the batteries are functional (you should change them every year anyway). When the batteries are low, the red light flashes and a voice warns you along with a 'chirp'. This is a no-brainer!
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