Wireless smoke alarms – another no-brainer


June 16, 2005

June 17, 2005 Add wireless technology to existing products and the result is often a quantum leap forward in functionality. One recent example of this was the ingenious wireless light switch. Now here’s another – the wireless smoke alarm. In this case the smoke alarms in your home connect wirelessly so that if one sounds the alarm, they all do. Many municipalities now mandate interconnected smoke alarms by law – even if it’s not law where you live, it’s a good idea because the ten to thirty seconds saved by getting the first possible warning might save a life. Other benefits of this clever system include a voice alert alternating with the alarm, and a low installation cost.

It’s a really simple concept and one which we instantly like. The Kidde Wireless System is an interconnected system that links smoke alarms and accessories together so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound. This provides more warning in more places, giving families more time to escape a fire.

The system currently includes three components which communicate with one another via radio frequency waves: a wireless battery-powered smoke alarm, an AC-powered smoke alarm and a wireless SmokeSounder. These components work together to enable homeowners to quickly and easily install a fire protection system based on their needs and at low cost.

And your neighbours identical smoke alarm won’t set yours off as there are 256 different identification settings for each alarm system.

If your wireless smoke alarm system does activate, you’ll also be able to tell which was the unit that first detects the hazard and initiates the response will have a flashing green LED.

Finally, we all know people who can sleep through an alarm – smoke alarms are no different and hence the addition of voice warnings and low frequency warning tones could logically save lives compared with a traditional alarm. Voice warnings can be more effective at waking children who sleep through the sound of a traditional smoke alarm, and a lower frequency tone can be more effective at waking those who cannot hear the alarm's tone due to high frequency hearing loss, which is often age-related.

The Kidde Wireless SmokeSounder has a loud voice that clearly states the danger present, followed by a low frequency alert. It has been specifically designed to provide additional warning for those most at risk. Furthermore a caregiver can place the SmokeSounder in their bedroom for more warning and more time to help their family.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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