Most helpful positive review
169 of 176 people found the following review helpful
Peace of mind
on October 22, 2008
For those concerned about previous mfr date issues with reviews, my units were manufactured within 45 days of my purchase date -- which is actually extremely reasonable. I'm guessing that wherever these are manufactured, they are taking a boat trip at least once before hitting a warehouse to wait for me to purchase.
I recently replaced my 10 year old BRK detectors around my entire house. I installed the Kidde PI2000 dual sensor detector in each beadroom and a Kidde KN-COSM-IB smoke and carbon dioxide detector in the hallways in the basement, first and second floor hallways.
I researched first alert, brk, and kidde, mostly because I could see them at my local big box hardware store. I chose Kidde becuase it had more features for the wired-in detectors than both first alert and brk. First alert appears to have focused their current lines on battery only units and wireless communications. Brk also had limited options in dual sensors or combo CO detectors in a wired setting. Since neither first alert or brk could supply both a photo sensor/ion wired unit AND a dual CO and smoke wired detector that communicated together, I chose kidde detectors. I wanted them all to communicate and mixing and matching product vendors makes communications between the units impossible.
There are no pretty dual detectors that exist on the market. These are nice and boring and don't draw attention. They have a working hush button. That's a new feature that I appreciate. I haven't ripped one of these off the ceiling once yet to get them to stop their alarms.
I've never done a smoke or CO test. I'll let the experts run those tests. My only tests are using the test button. But it works as identified and is loud. The voice alarms in the COSM unit is good for the hallways and will supplement the normal alarm well. Children are reported to respond faster to "Fire!, Fire!". I've been know to sleep through my daughter's baby monitor on one of her bad nights... There's no way I'm not going to hear both the voice and the piercing alarms
Since I was replacing an existing AC wired solution, I wanted to continue to have the security of both AC power and battery backup. The best feature by far of this wired in solution is that all detectors are wired to communicate together. If my basement CO detector goes off, then the other two CO detectors also sound with an alarm and a voice indicator. When any of the smoke detectors trip, all detectors sound, and the hallway units voice alert "Fire!, Fire!". This connection between detectors will ensure that I know in the middle of the night if I have a fire in the basement... My house is well soundproofed between floors.
In replacing the existing brk wired in units with the Kidde detectors, I had to remove the existing collars and wired in "tails" since the existing ones were not compatible with the Kiddes. You can buy an adapter to convert from the BRK style of tail to the Kidde, but I considered that a waste of money. In my house, all of the smoke detectors are on the same electrical circuit and rewiring the tails and installing the detectors was a matter of ensuring the circuit was off, removeing 3 wire nuts, removing the existing tail, then twisting the new tail into the existing leads and putting the wire nuts back on. less than 3 minutes of work.
THe collar was easy to replace. A cordless screwdriver to loosen (not remove) the 2 J-box screws, twist and pull the brk collar off, add the Kidde collar, then tighten the screws.
All in all less than 5 minutes per detector... replaceing 7 detectors took less than an hour of work and I made sure to test each one for communications with the other units.
For the single detector that I have close to the peak of a cathedral ceiling I replaced the nice alkaline 9v that shipped with the PI2000 with an Ultralife Lithium 9v... they are made specifically for smoke detectors and are claimed to at least double the lifespan of a alkaline up to 10 years.... I'll let you know in ten years if its true. In any case I don't expect to have to change that high detector's battery for years now.
Remember that smoke detectors have to be replaced every 10 years.. units that detect CO will have to be replaced after 5yrs... its a chemical based sensor.