Kidde Intelligent Alarm Battery Operated Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Last updated date: April 17, 2019

DWYM Score

8.5

Kidde Intelligent Alarm Battery Operated Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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We looked at the top Smoke Detectors and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smoke Detector you should buy.

Update as October 14, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smoke Detector for a detailed review of all the top smoke detectors.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 59 expert reviews, the Kidde Intelligent Battery Operated Combo Alarm placed 7th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Kidde KN-COSM-XTR-BA uses breakthrough technology to offer a fast response to real fires, including smoldering and fast-flaming, as well as protect you from carbon monoxide and dramatically reduce the chance of nuisance alarms. In addition, the Intelligent Alarm contains a voice warning that clearly states the present danger – smoke or carbon monoxide – and announces “FIRE!” or “WARNING! CARBON MONOXIDE!” The Intelligent Alarm combines the detection capabilities of an ionization smoke sensor – which is more likely to detect smaller, less visible fire particles, like those produced by flaming fires – with that of an electrochemical sensor, which is used to detect CO. Since carbon monoxide is present in all fires, having both detection chambers work together in one alarm is a breakthrough in the fire safety industry. When either sensor notices a potential hazard, it will communicate with the other. Depending on what is detected, the alarm will adjust its smoke sensitivity in order to better discriminate between a real hazard and a false one. This constant communication enhances the alarm’s overall performance in all fires, and significantly reduces the potential for a nuisance alarm. This alarm uses ionization sensing technology. Leading authorities recommend that both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms be installed to help insure maximum detection of the various types of fires that can occur within the home. Ionization sensing alarms may detect invisible fire particles (associated with fast flaming fires) sooner than photoelectric alarms. Photoelectric sensing alarms may detect visible fire particles (associated with slow smoldering fires) sooner than ionization alarms.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.6
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.3
198 user reviews

What experts liked

Wireless interconnectivity eliminates the need to rewire entire house for single new unit.
- BestReviews
This smoke detector’s combination smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm includes a voice alarm that tells you the nature of the hazard detected.
- Top Ten Reviews
You can protect your home and family with this highly rated device that’s priced to work for most budgets.
- SafeWise
January 18, 2018 | Full review
The Kidde KN-COSM-BA is a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm, eliminating the need to install (and spend money) on multiple devices, while providing your home with the protection you need.
- Tuck
September 6, 2018 | Full review
This combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector eliminates confusion with voice alarms that let you know which type of danger is present, which can save you time in an emergency.
- Review Lab
This detector is very interesting as it has both the standard beeping alarm coupled with a voice alarm.
- Find The Top 10

What experts didn't like

Expensive, and must be hardwired to the same circuit as other wireless units.
- BestReviews
However, its inability to interconnect with other smoke detectors means that only the alarm exposed to smoke or CO will be activated.
- Top Ten Reviews
This Kidde smoke alarm can’t be hardwired, so there’s no option to connect it with other alarms throughout your home.
- SafeWise
January 18, 2018 | Full review
Also, while the expected lifespan is 10 years, the alarm is covered by only a 5-year warranty.
- Tuck
September 6, 2018 | Full review
Some reviewers complain that they were sold out-of-date detectors.
- Review Lab

An Overview On Smoke Detectors

A properly installed, well-maintained and good quality smoke detector can literally save your life and the lives of those you love the most. Deciding the best brand and size for your home can be difficult since so much is riding on the little, plastic devices working as they should.

Battery-operated smoke detectors run solely on batteries, which are easy and affordable to install and replace. You can use a battery-operated detector in virtually any location. Provided the batteries are changed as needed, they will work during power outages as well.

Hardwired smoke detectors are connected directly into your home’s wiring. While they must be professionally installed, many have backup batteries that will last the lifetime of the alarm. So you can feel safe and not worry about remembering to change the batteries.

Many smoke detectors produce a loud, beeping or bleating alarm sound when triggered. This could certainly be ideal to alert you to fire or smoke danger. However, if you have heavy sleepers or young children in your home, they could be confused by or even sleep through the noisy alarm. Devices such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm use voice alerts to explain what is happening. They can awaken you or notify you with spoken, easy to understand warnings.

According to the CDC, at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the United States. Considering a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide detector could result in double protection for your home and family. Carbon monoxide can come from leaky furnaces, poorly ventilated wood-burning stoves and many other sources commonly found in homes.

If you have a home security system, you might wish to consider purchasing a smoke detector that will integrate with your current configuration. This could give you increased protection, as many security providers monitor alarms like smoke detectors and can send emergency assistance even if you are away from home or unable to call for help.

Some smoke detectors are compatible with other smart home devices. For instance, devices such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm can be integrated with smart hubs, mobile apps and virtual assistants, like Google Home and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

Of course, when shopping for new smoke detectors for your home, office or other location, you must consider how much you want to spend. Fortunately, there are devices that will fit any budget, depending on features, projected lifespan and other attributes.

The Smoke Detector Buying Guide

  • Ionization smoke detectors are ideal for detecting small particles associated with quick-burning flames. However, things like steam or burnt food can cause them to go off, so you might not want to use these in or near your bathroom or your kitchen.
  • Photoelectric smoke detectors are highly rated for early detection of smoldering fires that emit lots of smoke and large particles. While they have fewer false alarms, making them a good choice for kitchens and steamy areas, they might not detect fast-burning flames as quickly.
  • Dual-sensor smoke detectors provide the benefits of ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors. Alternatively, you could install different types of devices in different areas of your home.
  • Look for a UL stamp on a smoke detector before you buy it. Underwriters Laboratories (UL LLC) is a global safety company that certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects and audits a wide range of products including smoke detectors. The UL certification mark is the single most accepted one in the United States.
  • Be sure to check the date on a smoke detector as well. Although recommendations can vary between makes and models, Consumer Reports recommends replacing smoke detectors every 10 years. Note that this should be 10 years after the date the device was manufactured, not the date it was installed. Fortunately, the manufacture date is printed on the underside of smoke detectors.
  • The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside every bedroom as well as outside each sleeping area. On floors without bedrooms, smoke detectors should be installed in living areas, such as the living room or den, and near stairways to upper levels as well.
  • While homes built to earlier standards might be exempt, every state has regulations and standards regarding where and how smoke detectors are installed in residential buildings. Check the regulations or recommendations for your state, as some states require that you make necessary upgrades before renting or selling your home.
  • The U. S. Fire Administration recommends testing your smoke detectors monthly. Put a monthly reminder on your phone or calendar to push the button on every detector in your home to make sure the alarm works properly.
  • USFA also recommends changing the batteries in battery-operated smoke detectors one to two times per year. An effective way to remember this is to replace them every time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings.