The story behind the Chick-a-Dee ®

The Chick-a-Dee ® smoke detector was selected as the winning design in a design contest organised by the Union of Dutch Insurance Companies in the Netherlands in the fall of 2006. Mrs. Louise van der Veld's design was selected out of 50 entries sent by industrial designers at universities all over the Netherlands because of its combined functionality and design.

The Chick-a-Dee ® smoke detector was specially designed for the Baby and Kids market. The Chick-a-Dee ® smoke detector is equipped with a 1.5 year battery lifetime and a three-year warranty.

The Chick-a-Dee ® design is based on the clip-on birds one often sees as decorations on Christmas trees. The designer chose this shape because birds have always been known for their warning calls. It is a well-known fact that that birds warn each other of danger by calling loudly. In the previous century, miners used to take canaries in small cages with them into the mine, because these birds are sensitive to poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide. These gases are both colourless and odourless and can hardly be sensed by man. As soon as the canaries showed even the slightest sign of distress (by no longer singing and chirping) it was a clear signal to evacuate the mine as quickly as possible. The bird's presence gave the miners both a secure and pleasant feeling.

The Chick-a-Dee ® takes its name and appearance from the American Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla). This name is a tribute to its warning call, the phonetic Chickadee sound. As soon as smoke is detected a 85 db alarm signal is activated. Under normal conditions, a control light flashes once a minute. The Chick-a-Dee can be tested by pressing the test button. The batteries are easy to replace.