|Battery-Powered Smoke Detector: $15-$25 ||Hardwired Smoke Detector: $25-$40 ||Smoke Detectors with Special Features: $50+ |
Smoke detectors function by using two basic sensors: an ionization smoke alarm works well at detecting flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms are more responsive to smoldering fires. Some models have dual sensors.
Related articles: Fire Extinguisher, Fire Sprinklers, Carbon Monoxide Detector, Homeowner's Insurance
- Ionization smoke alarms, which excel at detecting flaming fires, cost $15-$60 depending on the features of the smoke alarm. For example, First Alert's Basic Smoke Alarm costs $13 and features a hush button, and comes with a 9V battery and a 10-year warranty. Kidde's Silhouette Hardwire Smoke Alarm is about $60 at Home Depot. It is hardwired into the home, has a backup rechargeable battery and a design that protrudes from the wall less than most other smoke alarms.
- Photoelectric sensor smoke alarms work better at detecting smoldering fires, but typically are more prone to false alarms. Photoelectric sensor smoke detectors cost $20-$80, depending on the features. For example, BRK Electronics' Hardwire Smoke Alarm costs $21 at Amazon and features a hush button, a battery backup and is compatible with some carbon monoxide detectors. First Alert sells a two-pack of wireless smoke detectors for $80 that can be interconnected, meaning when one alarm sounds they all go off.
- Some smoke detectors offer dual sensors -- both ionization and photoelectric in one model -- which are typically recommended by experts. Typically, dual-sensor detectors cost $20-$40, depending on features. For example, First Alert's Smoke Alarm with Smart Sensing Technology costs $23. A Kidde battery-operated dual-sensor unit sells on Amazon for $20.
- Some smoke detectors are combined with carbon monoxide detectors. Typically, combined units cost $40-$80. For example, BRK Electronics Battery Smoke/CO Combo costs about $44 at Drillspot.com and includes a remote control silencer and a programmable voice alarm.
What should be included:|
- Smoke alarms come with a variety of different features but typically include a hush button (and sometimes a remote-control silencer), a battery backup for power outages, a low-battery warning light and a multi-year warranty. Less common features include voice alarms and strobe alarms (which help the hearing impaired).
- Many smoke detectors run on batteries, which can cost $5-$10 to replace. Experts recommend checking smoke alarm batteries when the clocks are reset for Daylight Savings Time.
- A smoke detector tester, which is essentially smoke in an aerosol can, can quickly test whether a smoke alarm is functioning properly. Typically, smoke in a can is sold for $5-$15 per can. Look for smoke detector testers that are UL listed. For example, Amazon sells cans of CRC Industries smoke detector tester for about $12.
Shopping for a smoke detector:
- Some local fire stations offer free or low-cost smoke alarms. Typically the programs are aimed at the elderly, families with small children and recent immigrants. Contact a local fire department or district for details on individual programs.
- Some retailers provide discounts for bulk purchases. First Alert, a manufacturer of smoke alarms, offers discounts on bulk or multi-pack orders . For example, a six-pack of the hardwired alarm is $63 and a 48-pack (aimed at contractors) is about $550. Home Depot sells a pallet of smoke detectors (756 units) for $9,700, or less than $13 apiece.
- ConsumerSearch.com provides reviews of top-selling smoke detectors.
- Kidde , a manufacturer of smoke detectors, provides information to consumers on selecting the right model and installation tips.
- Look for the UL Listed mark on smoke detector products guaranteeing top performance and safety.
- The US Fire Administration provides an overview of state laws governing residential smoke detectors.
7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013
7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013
What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
More Home and Garden Topics
Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com