Growing up in a small town, you tend to know everything that’s happening around you. I sometimes joke that if I sneezed while grabbing the newspaper off the front lawn, the phone would be ringing with someone saying “God bless you” by the time I got back into the house. Honestly, that’s only a slight exaggeration. Couple the standard small town fare with the fact that my uncle was the police chief, my mom the town doctor, my grandfather one of the ambulance drivers, and that many of the members of the volunteer fire department were also my teachers, and you can imagine that I grew up knowing about everything from a minor fender bender to a tragic coal mine explosion.
One event burned in my memory didn’t involve explosions or crashes, the kind of sights and sounds that send small town folks running to their police scanners, but instead quietly, tragically taught our community about a silent killer. I remember hearing this story directly from a first responder, who had arrived at the home in town. He walked into the cellar – much like the one in my own home – and found the home’s residents on the floor, deceased. The emergency responders stayed in the cellar, looking for signs of foul play, until one complained of a crushing and sudden headache.
Thankfully someone among the group realized immediately that the silent killer was carbon monoxide, and they quickly ran outside to fresh air and medical treatment.
It is memories such as this one along with my own mom instincts to protect and prepare my children that led me to sign on as a Kidde Brand Ambassador. For the next year, I’m going to be sharing both fire and carbon monoxide safety information to hopefully prevent the kind of tragedy I remember from my own childhood, a tragedy that may have been prevented had a CO alarm been installed in that house. I’d also like to use this year to better prepare my family with a more detailed fire safety plan, including fire drills – yes, fire drills! – just like the ones my children are accustomed to at school. At this end of the next 12 months, I hope that we’re all more prepared to keep our families safe!
As the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde’s mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 95 years, industry leaders, the military, airlines and firefighters have relied on Kidde to deliver superior fire detection and suppression. Consumers will find that same advanced fire safety technology in Kidde’s residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products. Based in Mebane, NC, Kidde is part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.
Introducing Kidde Worry-Free CO alarms:
The Kidde line of products includes the first and only UL-listed carbon monoxide (CO) alarms proven to provide a decade of protection – up to twice the lifespan in other available alarms. Like the Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarms, the CO alarms contain a sealed-in lithium battery that powers the alarm and eliminates homeowners’ top fire safety complaint: a low-battery chirp. Kidde is a part of UTC Climate, Controls, & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Kidde found homeowners’ primary frustration is hearing a low battery chirp, especially late at night. Yet, homeowners don’t automatically replace the battery. Seven percent say they’d be more likely to disconnect the battery than insert a new one. Another 33 percent might wait a day or more to replace the battery after hearing it chirp. An estimated 50 percent of U.S. homes have a CO alarm installed, most of which are battery-powered.
“Carbon monoxide alarms save lives,” said J. William Degnan, state fire marshal, New Hampshire and president, National Association of State Fire Marshals. “Consumers with battery-operated CO alarms should use 10-year batteries in tamper-resistant units to help ensure that they are protected from the silent killer.”
A working CO alarm is the only safe way to detect this odorless, colorless and invisible gas, which is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States. Potential sources include a furnace, water heater, fireplace, generator or any fuel-burning appliance.
“Kidde worked tirelessly to develop the Worry-Free product line. It meets all UL standards, eliminates battery replacement, and is maintenance-free,” said Chris Rovenstine, vice president, sales and marketing, Kidde. “Addressing the frustration caused by low battery chirps may help reduce the number of poisonings that occur due to dead or missing batteries. Plus, having one replacement time for all of a home’s smoke and CO alarms makes it easier to remember to replace alarms.”
The Kidde Worry-Free CO alarms monitor CO levels even during power outages and will sound an end-of-life warning after 10 years. This required warning notifies consumers to replace the unit. Worry-Free smoke alarms also have this end of life warning and are the only UL-listed alarms to contain a photoelectric smoke sensor programmed to reduce nuisance alarms. Each Kidde Worry-Free smoke alarm is designed with location-specific features, such as super-bright LEDs in the hallway alarm.
I hope you’ll join me on this year long journey!