Plan B: 10 Home Safety Devices That Don’t Run on Electricity Alone
Don’t get left in the dark or cold—be prepared during a power outage with products that will keep on running.
You’re a cautious, conscientious homeowner. You have carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, motion-detecting cameras outside, and even a home security system. You are set for any intruders or odorless gas that may come your way, but what happens when the power goes out? Will the home safety and security devices you invested in continue working to keep you safe?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This list of specific models and brands of home safety and security products have a “plan B” power backup in place in case there’s no access to electricity for a period of time, whether that be from a blizzard, blackout, summer storm, or other event. Check out the following products that could end up saving your life.
1. Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector, Plug In Wall with 9-Volt Battery Backup
Since there’s no way to see or smell carbon monoxide, it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector that can alert you to rising levels even if the power goes out. A plug-in carbon monoxide detector with a 9-volt (V) battery backup like this one is among household items that could save your life. It is easy to install—simply plug it into a standard 120V outlet in your home. The digital LED display shows the level of carbon monoxide and an 85-decibel alarm announces when carbon monoxide is detected.
2. First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound – Battery Powered Smart Hardwired Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
As a top pick in our researched guide to the Best Smart Smoke Detectors, this dual smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector with built-in Alexa services is battery-powered and compatible with Apple HomeKit. It responds to voice commands and the companion app allows users to test or silence the alarm, control other entertainment devices, and adjust the included nightlight from a smartphone or tablet. It is easy to install, and placing it on the ceiling enhances the quality of the speaker. The alarm is available as a hardwired, AC-powered unit (with a 10-year lithium backup battery).
3. Ring Battery Doorbell Plus + Solar Charger for Battery Doorbells
Help protect your front door and stay charged longer with this solar-powered Ring video doorbell. The device runs on a removable, rechargeable, quick-release battery pack that provides an uninterrupted, low-cost power source. It will keep your doorbell charged up to 35 percent longer than previous models and includes a secure mounting bracket for easy installation of weather-resistant built-in solar panels.
4. NACINIC Solar Outdoor Lights Motion Sensor w/ 240 Bright COB LED (2 Pack)
Solar flood lights offer some security and illumination without access to an electrical outlet. Toted as the best bang for the buck on our Best Solar Flood Lights Tested list, this product offers a long period of security when it’s in low-intensity, motion-detection mode. It features a 2,200 mAh lithium-ion battery and the lights turn on when triggered up to 15 feet from the sensor in motion-detection mode.
5. EcoFlow Portable Power Station 3600Wh DELTA Pro Solar Generator for Home Use, Blackout, RV
Those looking for the best solar generator for home backup in the event of a power outage might find the EcoFlow Delta Pro is a topnotch option. The station offers substantial power and output capacity to power an entire house’s electronics. It can charge via car battery, solar panels, and either 120V or 240V input. This small but heavy generator has 3,600 watt hours (Wh) that can be expanded to 25,000Wh by connecting it to extra EcoFlow batteries and generators. It also offers a companion app for iOS and Android that allows you to monitor energy usage, customize its operation, and monitor and manage a number of other elements.
6. Zareba ESP5M-Z 5-Mile Solar Electric Fence Charger
Electric fences also go out during a power outage. As part of our Best Electric Fence Chargers list, Zareba’s Solar Fence Charger provides up to 5 miles of coverage. Its built-in photovoltaic panel charges the battery via sunlight, allowing it to operate for up to 2 weeks at a time, so you won’t have to worry if you lose power. It mounts easily on top of a fence post and swivels 360 degrees for adjustments.
7. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
As Amazon’s Choice with 4.5 stars from more than 24,000 ratings, this portable propane heater can be a lifesaver during a power outage in the winter. In fact, it is designed specifically for emergency heat and perfect for heating enclosed spaces up to 225 square feet. It is safe for both indoor and outdoor use and can run for up to 6 hours. Finally, it includes a Piezo igniter, accidental tip-over safety shutoff, swivel regulator, and fold-down handle. It also includes high and low heat settings.
8. SimpliSafe 8 Piece Wireless Home Security System
No wiring or drilling is required to set up this wireless home security system; place your sensors to protect windows, doors, or cabinets; and start protecting your home. Top pick in our Best DIY Security Systems for the Home list, this model by SimpliSafe also gets 4.5 stars on Amazon with over 2,000 reviews. Because it is wireless and has a 24-hour battery and cellular backup, it will continue to keep your home secure even if you lose power or WiFi. The company offers an optional 24/7 professional monitoring service.
9. Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera and Charger (Sold Separately)
This product recently earned the CNET Editors’ Choice Award for the best solar-powered security camera for 2023. There are no wires, but the camera connects directly to your WiFi network. Key features include 2K resolution, color night vision, an integrated spotlight, 160-degree field of view, 2-way talk, and a loud siren. You can hear and speak to visitors clearly with 2-way audio, receive notifications, and view videos indicating a package, person, vehicle, or even an animal has been detected. The solar charger is sold separately from the camera.
10. eLEDing Self-Contained 160° Motion Activated Outdoor Integrated LED Solar Security Flood Light
This product made it on our Best Solar Flood Lights Tested list as the best for overhead security. It provides 500 lumens of white light, which is sufficient for lighting up an area of about 25 feet in a semicircular pattern. The light has a dusk-to-dawn mode that lasts several hours or a motion detection mode that works when triggered within 15 feet. Install it over garage doors, side-entry doors, or even on a wall or a tall fence overlooking a path.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on September 28, 2023.