Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Smoke Detectors and Time Changes

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

With the arrival of Daylight Savings Time, it can be a time to check many things in your preps (assuming you don't keep to another schedule). I have several dates set on calendars, both short and long term, for checking stored food and water.

One thing I check yearly are the smoke detectors in my room and in the hall near my bedroom, because I want to be certain they are working. Mine started chirping Sunday night, which is not a good night to start disturbing my sleep.

When I looked at the battery in the one on my wall, I saw that this unit was 12 years old and had some paint on it. There wasn't enough paint to block ports or any that I could see inside, but better safe than sorry, so I bought this on Monday:

Kidde Worry-Free 10-Year Sealed Lithium-Ion Battery Operated Smoke Alarm with Voice Alert

With all the improvements to electronics and batteries in the past 12 years, buying a new smoke detector for myself seemed like a really smart idea. Besides, not having to replace batteries for at least a decade sounds really attractive. From the Kidde website:

"10-year sealed battery smoke alarms (sometimes called smoke detectors) offer a variety of benefits to the millions of Americans who rely on continuous battery-powered smoke and fire detection in their homes. The alarms are powered by sealed, long-life lithium batteries for 10 years (the life of the alarm), meaning they are always on. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years."

I bought this from Home Depot since I didn't want to wait for the same model from Amazon to arrive in the mail days later. I really don't like the idea of a fire in my house, or even smoke from a fire; nationwide, smoke inhalation kills more people than fires. I've personally seen how fast smoke can build up in a building and never want to be in a situation like that ever again.

All the batteries in the smoke detectors in my side of the house get changed at the same time, so I'm not sure why the one in my room went off so soon. Looking at the other detectors, all of them seem to be the same model: one of the compact, discount brands you can see at every Big Box store. Since they all look the same, I'm going to bet they all were installed about the same time, which puts them at Detector Death by the calendar. I do not own this house, so the responsibility to replace all the detectors falls on the landlord.

I'm going to see him Thursday and give him the good news.

The Takeaway
  • Safety is not the place to be cheap! As always, buy the best you can afford.
  • The price difference between buying a sealed unit and a less-expensive, replaceable battery unit was small enough that factoring in the PITA multiplier made it a good buy.

The Recap
  • One Kidde Smoke Detector:  $29.97, purchased from Home Depot. Ordered from Amazon, $28.90 with Prime.*
  • *Ordering a combination of detectors can save you more than buying from a brick-and-mortar store. You have to figure in the delivery time to you.

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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