Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm Review: Set It & Forget It For 10 Years

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Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm on wall in dark (text in image: Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm Review)This Kidde carbon monoxide (CO) detector is a popular option because you can place it anywhere inside your home since it doesn’t require a plug to operate. It’s suitable for any living area, but you’ll want to know its features, so if you see a blinking light or hear a beep, you know what to do.

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Article Overview


4.75 / 5
Customer Service & Reputation 4.5
Pricing 4.8
Installation 5.0
Ease Of Use 4.8
Performance 4.8


  • UL2034 compliant
  • Low battery signal
  • Digital display is easy to read in low-light
  • 10-year life
  • 10-year limited warranty
  • Battery operated (3 AA batteries)


  • Complaints of them being defective, but you should be able to get a replacement through the warranty

Key Features

  • Digital display shows the level of CO it senses and updates every 15 seconds.
  • Battery-operated with a low battery alert, so you know when to change the batteries.
  • Has a battery safeguard, which makes it difficult to close the cover without batteries installed.
  • Can mount or place on a table top.
  • Continues to monitor CO levels during power outages, which is when many CO incidents occur.
  • Green LED flashes once every 30 seconds to indicate it is operating properly.
  • Red LED pulses to indicate CO has been detected.
  • Sounds at 85dB when it detects:
    • 70 ppm (parts per million) of CO for 60 to 240 minutes.
    • 150 ppm for 10 to 50 minutes.
    • 400 ppm for 4 to 15 minutes.



Here’s a link to the Kidde carbon monoxide alarm manual for general information.

  1. Why is “Err” displayed on my Kidde carbon monoxide alarm?
    If “Err” is displayed, the detector is also probably giving one quick beep every 30 seconds. Replace the batteries in your detector. If “Err” continues, the unit has malfunctioned and needs to be replaced immediately because it will not respond to CO. Press the “Peak Level” button while the unit is in “Err” mode to obtain the error code and call product support (1-800-880-6788).
  2. How do I test/reset my Kidde carbon monoxide detector?
    Test your alarm by using the “Test/Reset” button and check that the green LED flashes once approximately every 30 seconds.

Other Options

Below are some other popular Kidde CO detectors that have other features.

Smoke & CO Detector $25.53

    • Detects smoke/fire and CO
    • Battery operated
    • Voice alarm

Nighthawk Plug-In CO & Explosive Gas Detector $35.43

    • Detects explosive gas (including propane and natural gas) and CO
    • Can mount it 3 ways: wall outlet, wall mount with retractable power cord, table top with retractable power cord
    • Battery backup for protection during power outages

What Do People Think Of Kidde?

Positive Reviews

Easy to install batteries and to install on the wall. Have not had it go off yet but am confident we are protected. – Columbus, The Home Depot 6/4/2019

Works good love the read out. – Hotrod, The Home Depot 5/7/2019

Negative Reviews

It was difficult to find more recent negative reviews, which we think is a positive.

I tested the unit by holding it directly to my car’s exhaust pipe after purchasing… the CO level remained at 0. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. – Rocketman123, Walmart 4/5/2015

This item does sense CO presence but does not alarm properly. That’s dangerous. I tested this unit several times in various CO conditions. It eventually gets the CO PPM count correctly, but the audible alarm does not work when it’s supposed to! I had to bump the CO above 200+ PPM for the alarm to go off initially. Then later, it went off at around 75 PPM. It doesn’t sound the alarm at the minimum (but cautionary) level of 30 PPM as the instructions dictate. Bottom line: it’s not reliable. Yes, others have given it high marks but I’ll bet they haven’t really tested it in realistic CO conditions. – EWiat, Walmart 1/6/2016

Does My Home Need CO Detectors?

At a very minimum, you should have at least one CO detector on each level of your home. Learn more about CO poisoning, appliances that may cause high levels of CO and more in the short video below.

Kidde vs The Competition

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We love that this Kidde CO detector is battery operated and reasonably priced. You can see how it compares against other popular CO detectors in our Best CO Detectors article. We rank the top 3 companies and include the pros and cons for each device.

How many CO detectors does your home need?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

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