For the safety-conscious, a combined alarm for both smoke and carbon monoxide is a necessary tool in the home. After all, according to the National Fire Protection Association, seven people die each year from house fires. Forbes also reports that between 20,000 and 30,000 people are poisoned by carbon monoxide annually, with about 500 of those incidents ending in death, usually at home.
What’s worse than these statistics is the fact that most people wouldn’t even be aware of a problem until it was too late, at least not without the help of alarms. House fires have a way of getting out of control rather quickly, and carbon monoxide is infamous for its ability to kill without its victims even noticing it.
Knowing that your alarm can warn you of danger well before any real damage is done is a crucial comfort. Of course, knowing that the alarm is working is even better.
Unfortunately, that was not the case with the Kidde Nighthawk alarm, model KN-COSM-IB. Manufactured between June 1st, 2004 and December 31st, 2010, these alarms were recalled because once their battery life ended after seven years, they would no longer chirp once the batteries were replaced.
About 3.6 million units (in addition to 1.5 million in Canada) were sold before the malfunction was discovered. Luckily, although eight reports were submitted regarding the problem, no injuries occurred before the recall.
The items were sold through Amazon and brick-and-mortar distributors nationwide between June 2004 and December 2010. Regardless of where or when they were bought, consumers were advised to stop using them right away and ask Kidde for a replacement as soon as possible.
This serves as a great reminder that it’s not a good idea to just buy an alarm like this and then think that all of your problems are solved. Be diligent about checking items like these to make sure that they’re working. Otherwise, what’s the point in buying them?