There’s a 62% chance I’m going to die in my house

[This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Kayla.]

Kidde Logo

[This post was commissioned by Kidde]

OK, that’s not exactly true. It might be worse: given my clumsy nature I’m sure my odds are way higher than that. I mean, we have four staircases in our house, and I’ve fallen down every one of them. But I have to somehow make fun of the fact that I scored a pathetic 38% when I completed a Home Safety Challenge survey from Kidde, the people who make the very cool talking smoke and CO alarmswe’ve had in our house for almost five years (I’ll be giving one away at the end of this post.) Now, in fairness, there’s a huge section of the survey having to do with children’s safety, and most of the questions were geared towards homes with younger children. We don’t have outlet covers and window safety bars and stair safety gates and all that stuff anymore, and I think the survey could have done a better job of funneling parents of older children past those questions. If I discount those questions I do score higher. But I still don’t get a passing grade. Like I said, pathetic.

My weak points

My weakest points in the survey mostly had to do with getting out of the house in case of a fire. There are many rooms that simply don’t have a safe egress. And I did try: when we moved into our very tall house I bought escape ladders for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. But along with a tall, old house we also have very old, very wide windowsills, and the escape ladders don’t work with them. So for six years they’ve been sitting in boxes, while I’ve procrastinated getting hooks installed near the windows in case, God forbid, we should need to escape that way. But there was always something else to spend our house renovation money on. I’m also not as good as I could be about testing my alarms and changing the batteries. I’ve gotten complacent because my alarms are hard-wired, so instead of changing the batteries every six months I wait until the alarm tells me to. That’s not very smart, because if we lose power and the alarms have to run on battery power for a while, those batteries should be new-ish and ready to go! To make it worse, once our alarms let us know that we need to get out, we don’t have a meeting place. And I’ve never had a fire drill with the kids. And while I’m proud of myself for having fire extinguishers on every floor, some of them are more than ten years old, and I don’t know which ones, and I’ve never practiced using one anyway and probably couldn’t in a fire-induced panic!

What I can do

But the purpose of the home safety audit was not to scare the crap out of me. It was to let me know which areas I have to work on. The questions I got wrong are now a checklist that I’m using to fix what could be done better in my house. How I haven’t made this stuff a priority until now, I don’t know. If you asked me, “Do you love your children?” I would say yes. If you asked me, “Would you want them to die in a fire?” I would of course say no. But if you asked me “Have you done everything you reasonably can to ensure that that doesn’t happen?” my brain would explode from trying to reconcile the logic. I strongly encourage you to go to the Kidde site and do the Home Safety Audit yourself.It will only take you about ten minutes, but could eye-opening – or even life-saving.

The Giveaway

Kidde Intelligent SmokeCO AlarmTo encourage you to do this, one lucky reader will receive a Kidde Intelligent Alarm – a battery-powered version of the very alarms I have throughout my house. Five years ago when it was time to buy alarms, after all of my research I chose these. My favorite thing about them is that they talk to me! I can’t stand it when alarms beep and you don’t know why. Well, with these, that will never happen. If there’s a fire, it says “Fire.” Same with a CO leak. And if the battery is low, it will tell you, in words. Here’s a rundown of some of the alarm’s features (from the product description): • Voice Alarm – Announces the hazard type detected thereby helping to speed up the correct reaction to the hazard detected. • Combined Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm – A single unit can be installed where previously, two were needed. • Test/Reset Button – Tests alarm circuitry and triggers the voice announcement. • LEDs – Two LEDs are provided. Flashing green for normal operation and flashing red for alarm condition. • Low Battery Warning – The unit warns of a low battery condition by announcing “low battery” and by initiating an alarm chirp and activating a flashing red LED. • Battery Powered – Provides protection even during power outages when many fire and carbon monoxide incidents occur. • Battery Safeguard – Ensures the unit cannot be accidentally mounted without batteries installed. • Hush® Feature – Temporarily silences nuisance alarms. To enter to win one of your very own, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post about the safety situation in your home – if you think you’re on top of things, or if you know you could do better (and if you took the survey, you can tell us how you did, whether or not your score surprised you, what area you have to work on, etc.). For a second entry, you can tweet about the contest with a link back to this post. The tweet must contain “@SelfishMom” (but should not start with it). Or, you can just copy and paste this:

Want to win an intelligent “talking” alarm from #Kidde? @SelfishMom is giving one away!

Make sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet, or it won’t count (instructions on how to find and post the url of your tweet can be found here). That’s two entries per household, please. Approximate prize value is $40. Prize fulfillment will be carried out by Kidde. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter, and prize can only be shipped to the US. This contest will close at noon-ish on Wednesday, August 1st 8th. Void where prohibited by law. The winner will be chosen by approximately 24 hours after the contest closes; the winner will be emailed and the winner’s name will be posted at the top of this post once the winner is verified. It is each entrant’s responsibility to make sure that their entry appears in the comment section, and to contact me before the drawing if there is a problem. Entries that do not follow the rules stated in this post will not be approved. See my complete Giveaway Rules page for more information. Good luck! Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 13. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. says

    I haven’t taken the survey yet, but I’m pretty sure I rank pretty low, too…maybe even lower than you! Guess I should take that survey and see what we need to improve. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    I had to stop taking the survey because it was making me anxious. Seriously. We do have to get new batteries for our CO alarm. It started beeping and I started freaking because I thought I was going to have to call the FD, but then I figured it out – not after much panic. Need to learn and prepare more. Thanks for the reminder.