Photo of Matt Lawrence

Matt Lawrence

Professional Preparedness Expert

Home Fire Safety

Featured On:

  • MSNBC
When I was first asked to research and write these reviews of fire safety products the request was for fire extinguishers alone. After hitting the streets, searching the web and speaking with a former executive at First Alert, I realized the fire safety in the home requires a couple of easy-to-access, simple-to-use products as well as an evacuation plan.

All fire professionals I spoke with said the best thing anyone can do in the event of a house fire is to GET OUT as quickly as possible. In order to do that, you have to have smoke detectors! It was also recommended that I not overlook carbon monoxide detectors either, as this odorless, colorless silent killer attacks without warning.

That being said, it was suggested everyone have at least one smoke detector and if possible, one in every bedroom with a CO detector of some kind in the home as well.

Also suggested are multi-rated ABC fire extinguishers in the kitchen (of which I keep two, one near the stove, another under the sink) and one in your garage.

After reading these reviews, I urge you all to sit down with your families, establish a fire escape/fire preparedness plan and review it twice a year, when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors. A good rule of thumb is to review your plan when you adjust your clocks in spring and fall.

Since the most basic rule is to have a smoke detector let’s begin with those. There are two major players manufacturing products for homeowners and two general types of smoke alarms available today: photoelectric and ionization. Let’s begin there.

While photoelectric smoke alarms generally respond faster to smoldering smoke conditions and ionization smoke alarms generally respond faster to flaming fire conditions, both types provide adequate protection against fire. Combination units are available, hence my choice for the top two smoke detectors in my review.

The best home smoke detector is essential to keep your family safe just-in-case. Choose the best carbon monoxide detector that also sets off when it detects smoke to make sure you have the most protection.

Best Home Fire Safety Products by Matt Lawrence

The Best You Can Get

  • First Alert Dual Ionization and Photoelectric Smoke Alarm

    Matt says: A battery operated dual ionization and photoelectric sensor smoke alarm offering maximum protection from both primary types of fires: flaming and smoldering. Optional remote, silences nuisance alarms from cooking smoke or shower steam simply by pressing any button on a standard household remote control (remote not included).

    • Single button activation for testing alarm functions
    • Easy access battery drawer: no need to remove alarm from ceiling to change battery
    • 10-year limited warranty
  • Kidde PI9000 Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm

    Matt says: Powered by a 9v battery, the Kidde PI9000 dual sensors also offers solid protection even in the event of power loss. The PI9000 also features a HUSH mode that allows the operator to quickly silence annoying false alarms.

    • Flashing LED lights that let’s you know the unit is functioning properly
    • 5-year limited warranty
  • First Alert Talking Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

    Matt says: This AA battery operated TALKING combination smoke & carbon monoxide alarm adds vocal warnings that can be easily programmed for the alarm's location within the home (11 pre-programmed choices). Voice also notifies which hazard is being sensed with
    "Warning, Evacuate! Smoke in Kitchen!"

    • Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm utilizes electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor for increased accuracy
    • Features a mute button to silence any nuisance alarms, single button alarm testing functions
    • End of life timer that causes the alarm to chirp when it’s time to replace it
    • 5-year limited warranty
  • First Alert Combination Explosive Gas and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Backlit Digital Display

    Matt says: Simply plug-in and protect your home from carbon monoxide, propane gas, and natural/methane gas with this combination explosive gas and carbon monoxide alarm featuring 9v battery backup and backlit digital display.

    Uses any standard outlet with no additional mounting necessary; a line cord offers multiple placement options. The EZ view backlit digital display allows easy viewing of danger levels, current, and peak CO levels in your home. Remote mute silences nuisance alarms by pressing any button on a standard household remote control (remote not included).

    • Features single button alarm testing functions
    • End-of-life timer that chirps when it is time for replacement
    • 5-year limited warranty
  • Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray

    Matt says: Not your typical fire extinguisher, Tundra comes in an easy-to-handle, 14-ounce spray can that be stored and used anywhere! Simply point and spray on household fires including those involving paper, fabric, wood, cooking oils, electrical appliances, and equipment.

    Tundra’s discharge time is four times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. It allows you to fight fires longer and clean-up is easy, simply wipe it away with a damp cloth.


    • It’s safe and effective to use in the kitchen, garage, office, fireplace, camping, grilling, boating, RVs, cars, workshops, or any room in the home

You will be happy with any of these

  • Kidde ABC Rated Full Home Fire Extinguisher

    Matt says: This 3-A:40-B:C dry chemical unit is a must have as a primary defense against small home fires. This multi-rated device meets NFPA requirements for garages, workshops, and living areas. A simple point and spray fire extinguisher, this model has a gauge that let’s you know the unit is ready, or needs replacing.

  • First Alert Kitchen Fire Extinguishers

    Matt says: Available in white and a great looking designer black this rated 5-B:C is designed to be mounted via the cap which serves as a quick release holding bracket that mounts easily to a wall or cabinet. Effective in fighting flammable liquid and live electrical fires, these units utilize push button pressure sensors that allow you to quickly test the serviceability of the unit.

    • 10-year warranty
  • First Alert Escape Ladder

    Matt says: Available in two or three story configurations, escape ladders easily deploy from standard windowsills and store compactly close by the escape window. Escape ladders ensure you keep your family safe and in case of fire or other emergency, no matter where they are. These items do require you plan and review escape patterns from upper floors so your family is comfortable enough with your emergency escape routes to respond appropriately should an emergency occur.

  • Draeger Parat C Escape Hood

    Matt says: A lightweight, portable, one-size-fits-all, easy-to-don smoke escape hood designed for self-rescue in the event of a fire. The PARAT C protects the wearer for a minimum of fifteen minutes from smoke, carbon monoxide, and toxic gases normally present during a fire. The PARAT C is made of high visibility bright orange PVC. It can be worn with glasses, facial hair, long hair etc and is ideal as a personal escape device which can be used in emergency situations occurring in homes, office or apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, plant facilities, and hotels.

Related Articles

For the best smoke detector protection, you should buy one for each room with carbon monoxide detection too. These best carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector choices give you the best coverage. From there, the best home fire alarms come in photoelectric smoke alarms that respond faster to smoldering smoke while ionization smoke alarms typically respond faster to flaming fire.