Smoke detectors are one of the most essential accessories your home will need, but are often the last thing you think about! You would normally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars either buying, or designing and building your dream home and then, reluctantly, install large unsightly smoke detectors throughout - well not any more!
The Danish designed Cavius miniature smoke detector is a welcome change to the traditionally large and unsightly smoke detectors we have had for years. It is easily and securely fixed to the ceiling, offering early detection of a home fire with a loud piercing audio alert when smoke is detected and... they just look good!!
Being so small and aesthetically pleasing you don't mind placing it where it will work best - right in the centre of the room.
• 10 year long life battery
• A penetrating sound at 85 dB(A) at 3 metres
• 10 minute pause
• Unique Smart Clip Ceiling mechanism
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Certified to the European EN14604 Standard
• New Zealand Building Code Compliant
I jumped at the opportunity to review this alarm as it was one we were looking at purchasing for our house anyway. Once it arrived I was then struck that a smoke detector is a hard product to review so lets start at the beginning, the package includes everything you might need to install it, you just need the screw driver, the screws are strong enough to be screwed into solid wood which is useful for us as we have lard and plaster ceilings and often have to replace the supplied screws with stronger ones. Once installed it looks good, although the overall height for the small circumference does make it stand out a bit but that's not always the worst thing.
It takes a reasonable amount of smoke to trigger but would still give you plenty of time to get out and get help. Steam doesn't seem to set it off accidentally which is good given the layout of our house and the hush button is handy although it is more intuitive to want to push the whole surface dome the first time. When it does go off the siren is different to the type we are probably all used to but there is no mistaking what is making it, it is also nice and clear, able to be heard from a reasonable distance away from it.
Overall while no where near as cheap as others on the market the lack of ongoing cost and middle of the night low battery alerts has to be a good thing. I certainly think we'll be putting these throughout our house and will be recommending them to our friends and family.
I received this review just in time - my old smoke alarm in the kitchen was making that "look at me, change the batteries" annoying squeak, so we decided to use it elsewhere and replace with the new alarm. It was easy and straightforward to put up and nice and small rather than big and bulking that collects what the flies leave behind.
I decided I would test it out in a few days time but I managed to burn something well before then - I had put the toaster on, gone off to put the washing on not realising that someone wonderful in our house had turned the heat up to the maximum amount something that poor homebrand toast can't handle. I got to it when there was a little bit of smoke coming up and thought "I'll let it burn and test the new alarm." I liked that with the small amount of smoke it didn't go off but as the toast started to burn we were met with a very loud beeping tone more pleasant than the usual fast beep of the old alarm, it also woke the cat up in the end bedroom so thats a positive sign.
The best thing about this alarm is sleep mode! no more knocking the smoke around the room with a tea towel or taking turns trying to knock it off the ceiling, you simply push a button on the side and it stops for 10 minutes enough to air out the kitchen.The price for this is on the higher side to what is available on the market but well worth the money if it lasts 10 years and it's nice that it does not take up half the ceiling space. I am looking forward to taking this to our new house early jan and trying it out.
I'm an old fart with dud joints and a gammy hip. My shoulders are poked and everything inside is way out of warranty now, so I need all the warning I can get if I need to haul my carcass out of the house in case of fire. I had read the very promising reviews about this alarm's early version so I was keen to get my name down for one of the newer models. So chuffed I was selected, eh!
It arrived while I was in hospital but one of my mokopuna did something very unlike them and installed it for me. I was told he even read the instruction sheet so he knew the best place to put it. This model - with the smooth face - is designed for every room in the house EXCEPT the kitchen apparently, so the young fella put it up at the lounge end of the hallway leading to my bedroom, thinking that as long as the fire didn't start in my bedroom, then any smoke-making fire would have to get to here before it got to me, no matter where it started. By the time it reached this point I would have had maybe 5-10 minutes to 'throw my sack of skin and bones out through the patio doors.' Kids, never short on charm and respect for their kaumatua.
He said to me when I got home and thanked him that it was the easiest DIY job he's ever done. That's not saying a lot really, I think it's the only DIY job he has ever done, but he did do a great job. I didn't even spot it until I thought to look for it - I noticed the cleaner patch on the wall above the laundry door where the old one was, before I thought to look for this. It is very discrete almost like it has some fancy stealth stuff on it.
It didn't seem to matter how hard I tried, I could not reach the test button on it, so I had to call one of my tamariki over to help me test this. He's a bad pipe smoker so I thought he could do double duty on this. He set fire to some toast in the kitchen, which opens on to the hallway near the alarm, but the small amount to reach that far - more than enough to have set the old alarm bleating - didn't cause a buzz at all. So glad of that, honestly. So then he fires up his trusty old pipe and sets a small forest blaze going in it. Stank like someone was doing a lawn burn of mouldy old manuka leaves, but thats his thing. No alarm when he puffed around the lounge, no alarm as he puffed around the kitchen, but when he let a puff go aimed right at the alarm it scream so hard and sharp I thought they would have to run me back to Club Medical again! Lord's sake, that noise will wake me up for certain, and if I don't make it out the door like John Walker then I'm probably already cooked to medium-rare and heading for well-done anyway.
Shutting the damned thing up was simple, for the tamariki, tall bugga that he is. So he made me a stick to hang on a pin by the alarm so I can reach up and press the 'stop trying to make my ears bleed' button. That gave us 10 minutes of peace that still left my ears ringing, and in that time we waved our arms in the air for a bit and cleared the worst of it. No more noise after that, so short bursts of smoke, like some idiot smoking a pipe right underneath it, can be sorted out too easy.
My kids thought these were pretty steep price wise until I got them to do some basic maths. 2 nine volt batteries a year times 10 years is 20 batteries. The good ones are about $9, and even the cheapest decent ones are at $4. So that means $80 for just batteries, plus another $10 for the alarm. That's $90 minimum, and up to $190 if you get good batteries. $55 doesn't sound like a bad deal at all to me, especially since I don't have to bother with it until, quite likely, long after I'm dead. I'd be happy to pay double this price for that peace of mind. Thank you heaps, KIWIreviews. I think I would have still had an empty alarm on the wall with no batteries without you.
Smoke alarms are a must in every home - they become our lifeline when we need them to. I jumped at the opportunity to test one of the Cavius alarms, as this particular alarm is one of the most discrete I have ever seen - and I co-inspect houses for a living.
The design of this alarm is sleek, and simple. It's a lot more covert than your traditional alarms. As per the instructions for most alarms they need to be kept clean - which is made even more convenient with this design as your vacuum cleaner tube will easily fit over it. The long life (up to 10 years) battery is an absolute must - now that long life alarms exist why would you want to replace a 9v battery at least once every year?
The sound output on this alarm is by no means as small as its size. This alarm produces one of the best signals I've heard and can easily alert a household to the danger of looming smoke and a potential fire. Testing this alarm I was pleasantly surprised - it does not trigger for small amounts of smoke making it a perfect alarm for the kitchen.
To test I initially held four blown out matches underneath the unit and there was no action - there was not enough smoke. To get a good test-out I may have set a paper towel on fire in our garage and let it smoulder, which it produced long, sharp, loud signals and was easily silenced with the 10 minute hush function.
Overall, great design, excellent battery life and is perfectly suited to every room in the house including the kitchen. The initial cost is a little high, however if you consider the price of replacing batteries over 10 years of operating a normal smoke alarm - this option will more than likely save you money. I will be purchasing more of these alarms in future.
How does one test out a smoke detector? With smoke of course. After several attempts to purposefully create a fire inside the house, I was finally able to get some smoke flowing and test out the design. Firstly, it didn't go off immediately. This is a good thing for my household. My "fire" was rather thin on the smoke (in reality, a toaster on the highest setting probably would have made more smoke), so the fact that it didn't go off after a tiny quantity wafted up to it was good. Nobody wants something attached to the ceiling screaming at you every time you cook.
But once the threshold was reached and the alarm was triggered? It was loud. Loud enough to hear in every room of the house (not the largest house mind you, but a 3 bedroom bungalow), and instead of the traditional fast beeping, it has a rather extended tone, so there was no question as to what was beeping.
Along with it not instantly going off at the slightest hint of smoke, is another great function; "sleep mode". Whereas previously, if we set off the alarm when we burn our dinner, we would have to rip the alarm off of the wall/ceiling and remove the battery, we now have the option to just push a button on the side and it won't go off for another 10 minutes. Plenty of time to finish what we are doing and open some windows.
Aesthetics and design wise, this is very different to any other residential detectors that I have seen.. it is smaller than commercial detectors, and looks a bit like a macaron on a cake stand (and is a similar size too. It's amazing how small it is). Installation is very simple, and took me less than 5 minutes to do.
The only real downside to the design is also an upside. That battery life. I can't exactly verify if it will last 10 years, so I will just have to ensure that I periodically test it out to check that it is still working, because let's face it...if it doesn't last 10 years, and I think that it does, then that could put the household at risk. But again, I haven't had the product long enough to be able to verify the battery life. But it is something you do need to think about when you buy it (you should be testing your smoke detectors regularly anyway).
The price is quite high, but it is definitely a high quality product for the kitchen area. I will definitely be leaving it there to do its job (and taking it with me if I move house). I'd definitely recommend buying one of these.
First the bad, because the rest is all good!
This unit emits a low decibel 'blip' every seven seconds, with a low level red light flash every 45 seconds. Even in a dark room, the red light did not disturb me, and as it can to turned to face away from the bed, is not a concern. However, whilst an attractive, less visible unit, it is also a (relatively) noisy one, becoming more like sound pollution in a very quiet room.
So in any room apart from a bedroom, this audible working feature is not noticed - however I have chosen not to install them in a bedroom, as I do not like the sound of a very slow ticking clock - worse than a ticking clock because the tempo is such that it breaks the silence every time, whereas a ticking clock is frequent enough to create a rhythm
All is good from here however. Not having to change the battery for 5 years was a selling point for me. For this reason I feel the $60 price tag is reasonable value. I was tired of having to reach up to replace the relatively expensive 9V batteries in the cheaper alarms (Recently my $6 smoke alarms have malfunctioned to the point I threw them away in disgust). The batteries aren't cheap, but that's not enough of a concern for me, as I am sure technology would have advanced enough in 5 years, to warrant upgrading to a new unit anyway. I installed a thermal heat alarm in the kitchen/ dining room, and smoke alarms in the hallways. Due to the small size, much easier and faster to attach to the ceiling than the heavier/ larger/ cheaper disc models.
Overall I'm very happy with the low key, modern look, and very loud alarm on testing. I'm confident I can forget to worry about maintaining the smoke alarms for the next ten years! (touch wood)
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Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'