Kidde Launches The Next Generation In Home Fire Protection

Mebane, NC, July 1, 2005 -- Kidde, the world's leader in fire safety products, announces the launch of the Kidde Wireless System - an innovation in fire protection. The Kidde Wireless System enables every home in America to have interconnected smoke alarms, which experts say can provide an earlier warning to fire.

Every three hours, someone in America dies in a home fire. Having working smoke alarms dramatically increases your chance of survival. The sooner a family hears a smoke alarm, the more time they have to get out. The Kidde Wireless System uses radio frequency technology to link smoke alarms and accessories together into an interconnected system so that when one alarm sounds, all of the alarms sound. This immediate response helps provide families with early warning no matter where the fire starts, thereby giving them more time to escape.

"People don't realize that on average a family may only have three minutes or less to evacuate their home after hearing a smoke alarm," said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council "That's why it is so important to plan ahead. Interconnected smoke alarms can alert a household to a fire at the earliest stages, giving caregivers more time to get family members to safety."

More than 84 million homes (most built prior to 1993 ) have only isolated battery- or electric-powered smoke alarms to alert families to possible danger. Traditional interconnected systems are usually installed during a home's construction, because it is time, cost and labor intensive to retrofit an existing home with this advanced fire protection. But smoke alarms equipped with wireless technology, such as the Kidde Wireless System, provide a lower cost alternative for homeowners who want to install interconnected smoke alarms without having to rewire their homes. For homes built after 1993, the Kidde Wireless System can be added to an already-established interconnected, hardwired system to enhance a home's level of fire protection.

The Kidde SmokeSounder is also available as part of the Kidde Wireless System. Designed to provide additional warning, the battery-powered, standalone unit is triggered by the system's alarms and may aid in waking children, older adults and those with partial hearing loss. Equipped with a loud voice module, the SmokeSounder clearly states, "Danger, Fire! Wake Up! Follow the escape plan!" This announcement is accompanied by a beeping alert set at a frequency that studies have found can be more effective in waking children and adults with high frequency hearing loss [often brought on by aging]. Studies also show that a vocal warning may be more effective at waking children who sleep through a traditional smoke alarm. In addition, the SmokeSounder can be placed in a caregiver's bedroom to provide extra warning so that they may have more time to assist loved ones out of the home.

"Fire safety experts recommend installing smoke alarms in every bedroom and on every level of the home," said Chris Rovenstine, vice-president of marketing for Kidde. "Now anyone can do that easily, and without costly retrofitting. The Kidde Wireless System can protect your whole home no matter what its age."

The suggested retail price for each Kidde wireless alarm and SmokeSounder will be around $50. The Kidde Wireless System can be found at Lowe's and other hardware stores. For more information on the Kidde Wireless System, please visit

About Kidde

As the world's largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde's mission is to provide solutions that protect people and property from the effects of fire and its related hazards. For more than 80 years industry leaders, the military, airlines and firefighters have relied on Kidde to deliver superior fire detection and suppression. Consumers will find that same advanced fire safety technology in Kidde's residential and commercial smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and other life safety products. Based in Mebane, NC, Kidde is part of UTC Fire & Security, a leading global supplier of fire safety and security services serving government, industrial, commercial and retail industries with brand names such as Kidde, Chubb and others. UTC Fire & Security is a division of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) a diversified company that provides high technology products and services to the aerospace and commercial building industries worldwide. For more information, visit

About the Home Safety Council

The Home Safety Council is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping prevent the nearly 21 million medical visits that occur on average each year from unintentional injuries in the home. Through national programs and partners across America, the Home Safety Council works to educate and empower families to take actions that help keep them safer in and around their homes. To learn more about the Council's programs, partnerships and resources, visit the Home Safety Council at Kidde has been a long-time supporter of the programs and activities of the Home Safety Council.

1 Homes built after 1993 are required by law to have hardwired smoke alarms that are interconnected, alerting families to smoke in any room of the house that is equipped with a smoke alarm.