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photo Chick-a-Dee smoke detector
The Chick-a-Dee ® Smoke alarms, which are traditionally functional rather than decorative, are a vital tool to help protect your home and your loved ones. That's why, at the end of 2006, the Dutch Association of Insurers held a competition to design fire prevention solutions, with entries from students taking various design courses in the Netherlands. The Chick-a-Dee ® by Louise van der Veld was the winning entry. The
Chick-a-Dee ® is a well-designed smoke alarm in the shape of a bird. The bird is perched on a branch, which also serves as a mounting system. The Chick-a-Dee ® can easily be fitted to the ceiling.

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. The alarm signals that the battery is dead by playing the alarm signal. 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.