Couldn't hear carbon monoxide detector

This morning my wife woke me up before dawn. “Don’t you hear that?” she asked.

"Hear what? I replied groggily.

The CO detector in the hallway, on the wall just 2 feet from our bedroom door, was putting out a constant tone (rather than beeping). It turned out that one of the two batteries was leaking corrosive onto the contacts. But my concern is that I could not hear that thing going off. Not at all. The alarm tone apparently is pitched too high for my ski slope hearing loss.

We have the Kidde brand detectors right now, and I’m wondering if anyone knows whether there is a different brand which outputs a lower frequency alarm? Or are there other workarounds? Obviously I don’t want to wear my HAs to bed!

In the past, I have modified smoke and CO detectors to emit sound at a lower frequency. I have also added strobe capability to them; however as the years have passed I have found it easer to just get specialized alert devices for the hearing impaired.

My experience is that there are three different categories of them.

  1. Dedicated devices which are designed specifically to listen for the standardized detector signals and then alert you themselves via flashing lights, bed shakers, different pitch sounds, etc. I currently have one of these devices by Lifetone. It works well but I prefer one of the below options.

  2. Home alert systems which have their own detectors which then send a wireless signal to a receiver, or receivers that alert you via the usual flashing lights, bed shakers, different pitch sounds, etc. I used to use this too and liked it, but the company is out of business and I changed brands (to one which doesn’t have their own detectors with built in transmitters).

  3. Home alert systems which have special devices which listen for the standardized alarm sounds (such as mentioned in #1 above) and then transmit a wireless signal to a receiver, or receivers, which then alert you via the usual flashing lights, bed shakers, different pitch sounds, etc. These are the systems I’m currently using with two two different brands. One brand is at my house and another at our daughter’s place (we spend a large amount of time over there babysitting). The system at her place has a vibrating pager (Serene Central Alert) that I wear which also alerts me to other alerts (front door, text message, etc).

The only issue I have with the #3 (above) style devices is they aren’t designed to pickup on the low battery chirp so they’ll miss that. You would either need to rely on a hearing person or make sure the batteries are swapped out with fresh ones on a regular basis.

Here’s a product information link to the system I mentioned that I use at our daughter’s place. It’ll listen for the alarms and then transmit the signal to a receiver (which you’ll need to purchase separately), or receivers to alert you.

They also have a combo unit which includes a smoke and CO detector (which isn’t needed if you already have standardized detectors). I didn’t see it on their site, but found it here:

Again, there’s nothing special about the combo detector, it’s just a standard First Alert one that you can buy at Home Depot.

Here is a link to the standalone system which listens for alarms. It has a loud, very low tone (around 500Hz) as well as a bed shaker option. I have one that I (now) mainly use for traveling. I’m not certain if it’ll respond to CO alarms, but certainly does for fires and even catches the low battery signals.

Thanks, @ZeeEight ! I’ll check those out.


Fortunately for me, alarm beeps-- even the low battery ones-- drive the dogs crazy, and they’ll wake me up.

No dogs here, but the sounds drive my wife crazy and then she definitely wakes me! :laughing:

Can’t you agree with her that you have your own bed outside of the bedroom. So if something happens she can have a look at the alarms, haha.

As @ZeeEight says there are multiple options. I also have a shaker under my pillow which alerts me and I also have flashing/ strobing light in my rooms in case I’m streaming and hearing impaired for the environment. Doorbell and telephone rings etc.

On top of this I just ordered for an IFTT integration 3 Earzz to see if these could help me out also. Seems a promising solution as I also want to be alerted in other cases then just smoke alarm. IFTT will make it possible to have more selective actions in my home and outside in the world. Product page