Why We Are Buying a Freezer Alarm

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It was our fifth day to feed the YC ladies soccer team.  Everything had gone as perfectly as it could possibly go when feeding 30+ people dinner night after night.

I had planned Italian chicken, baked potatoes, and some veggies – and by 1:00 in the afternoon, we had the chicken in one big roaster oven and a bunch of potatoes in the other.  So as to avoid heating up our house, we put both roasters outside, plugged into an outlet right by our storage room.

The storage room holds our freezers.  Two freezers.  Two big, full of meat, full of vegetables and fruit, full of all the food I had recently prepared ahead for busy days freezers.  You can probably see where this story is going.

Around 3:00, I went and checked on the chicken and potatoes to see how they were coming along.  As it turned out, they weren’t coming along at all.  The roasters had both stopped working.  Raw potatoes anyone?

We’ve had trouble with those outlets before, so without thinking about any other option, I blamed the issue on the outlets and had Asa help me get those heavy roasters full of food into the kitchen so that our house would be a pleasant 400° by the time a bunch of already sweaty soccer girls came for dinner.  Hey, at least the food would be ready.  I was so thankful I had discovered that the plug wasn’t working in time to crank up the roasters and get the food cooked.

One would think that I would have considered that a fuse had been blown.  But what can I say?  I had been feeding lots of people lots of food for lots of days.  All I was thinking about was successfully getting through that night’s meal.

From 3:10 on, all roasters, potatoes, and chickens cooperated just fine.  Dinner went great, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Fast-forward to the next morning.  I decided that I would treat my family to bacon.  This rarely happens, and I knew the aroma would help everyone get out of bed cheerfully.

We shall always be grateful for this random bacon desire.  It was as I went into the storage room to grab said bacon from the freezer that I noticed the light didn’t turn on.  Burned out bulb?  Maybe.  I tried the light on the other side of the room.  Nope, that didn’t work either.

And then a big ball of panic hit me in the gut.  Not only were the lights not working, but the freezers were not humming.  “Hum, freezers, hum!” I screamed to the silent white boxes.  I opened the freezers.  Nothing but icy cold silence.

This was not a pleasant way to begin my day.

I ran to the basement, looked for the offending fuse, found it, switched it, and prayed for humming freezers.  Back upstairs and into the storage room – the lights went on and the beautiful chorus of freezer music greeted me.

All was saved – the freezers had kept our food frozen solid all night long.  But I tell you what – this freezer alarm is looking mighty good.

Relief.  Gratitude.  Bacon.

Do you have a freezer alarm?  When I shared this on facebook, many shared that they wished they did since they had lost freezers full of food!  Any thoughts on whether this cheap one will do, or if we should spend a little more for a wireless one?

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Comments

  1. Audrey says

    Glad everything was okay! :D We had an ice storm last winter that knocked out our power for 5 days. We didn’t open the fridge or freezers, hoping to save them. Of course, the fridge and the freezer over the fridge did not stay cold enough, so we lost all that food. But my chest freezer! Oh, my chest freezer. Nothing thawed, even slightly, in the 5 days that we had no power. :D Of course, that was in the winter. If we lost power for 5 days in the summer, that story probably would have ended on a sadder note.

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  2. Teresa Yb. says

    Our freezer is in the basement. One day I plugged in the vacuum on the main floor and it wouldn’t work. That is the day that I learned that the upstairs outlet is on the same circuit as the freezer. Disaster was avoided, and my husband seems to have fixed the problem. But now I keep a night light plugged into that main floor outlet to help me keep an eye on the freezer circuit.
    I had never heard of freezer alarms before. We are discussing getting a second freezer. Maybe this would be a good idea for us, too.

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  3. Kathleen says

    In our previous homes the freezer was in the garage. We had an alarm in the form of a cheap $1 night light plugged into the same outlet. If the bulb died, it was replaced immediately which is more than I can say for light-bulbs inside the house!

    Now our freezer is in the laundry room, just steps away from the family room. I can’t see a night light plugged into its outlet (it is an upright, the old one was a chest freezer). BUT I can hear it hum, and we get into it at least daily.

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    Kate Reply:

    Our freezer is also in our garage. I make sure that little orange light is lit every time I drive in! :)

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  4. Lyn says

    If you do have a freezer (or two) full of food, you might consider making a claim on your homeowners’ insurance. You’d have to look at the value of the contents versus the cost of your deductible and the potential cost of increased premiums. Might be worth a conversation with your agent next time you review your policies. I know that’s a lot of planning and what ifs, but many times there are restrictions/requirements on how those claims are handled (when does the insurance company need to be called, when can spoiled food be removed, do photos need to be provided, etc.). Meanwhile, an alarm seems like a good idea!

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  5. Katherine says

    Oh yes. The hum. I like the hum. But not the sound of crinkly crackly defrosting of the door catching and being left slightly ajar. Now I stand there and listen for the whir of the freezer door sealing before I walk away. :-) Never heard of a freezer alarm but it sounds like a good idea to me. We lost all the chicken, which was in front, but were able to share food with neighbors for a week and to cook lots of ground beef and make lots of spaghetti and chili to go back into freezer. I like the door sealing sound.

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  6. Stephanie says

    The door to our freezer in the garage has been left open quite a few times…worst feeling ever! We live in TX and with temps regularly over 100 it doesnt take long for things to thaw. I have considered getting a freezer alarm but there don’t seem to be any decent freezer alarms. They almost all have terrible reviews so I’ve never gotten one.

    The last time this happened a few weeks ago I had to move the food to my parents freezer to let it defrost so it would start cooling again. It did give me a good opportunity to clean the freezer and organize it much better. :-)

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  7. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker says

    We bought a wireless one & it’s saved our bacon on several occasions. Pun intended :)!

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  8. Mona G. says

    So glad you didn’t lose any of your food…I agree, you must have one with all the cooking & freezing you do…..what a waste that would have been, not only on the food, but all the hard hrs. you put into preparing the food for the freezer…..
    Even a nite light plugged into the plug too, could be a life saver, you would just have to keep an eye on the nite light and make sure it was always on…..but I would say in your case, best to get a freezer alarm…..what kind I have no idea, but I’m sure you will get some good info on here from one of your followers :)

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  9. Rachel E. says

    I am so glad to hear your freezers kept everything frozen solid. It truly helps when they are packed full. We lost a lot of food last summer when our power went out for 4 days. We didn’t have a generator either. Needless to say, when generators were back in stock, we jumped to the generator section and bought one.

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  10. Birdie says

    In spring our meat freezer conked out. Fortunately, we were finishing up what we had butchered. Some hamburger spoiled and it sure stank 8-@. The alarm and nightlight idea is excellent. When our new freezer goes in, a night light will be there. Thank you Laura and ladies for your good advice.

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  11. tealady3 says

    I feel the pain and fear.Years ago we had an upright freezer in our basement it worked great,the children who opened it to get things out, didn’t.

    One really hot and humid Wisconsin day I went down to start my day’s laundry 8 kids make a lot of laundry,I discovered the freezer door open and everything thawed out.

    I remember the day well,10 whole chickens,40 pounds of ground beef,4 pork roasts,2 beef roasts,1 turkey,and several ham bones.

    It took me all day but I had made enough meals for a month.That was my cook and freeze day!

    I f I could have a freezer alarm I would have gotten as fast as fast can be!

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    Kristin Reply:

    We had an upright freezer growing up. It wasn’t closed tight and a few things spoiled. After that, my Mom instituted a lock the freezer after use policy. It was a pain having to unlock and lock the freezer EVERY time, but it never happened again.

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  12. Bernadette says

    We had a freezer alarm of sorts! A few weeks ago we had a nasty storm that didn’t knock out any of our power, but somehow tripped the one circuit that our freezer in the basement was on. Fortunately, we also had a carbon monoxide alarm plugged into the same outlet that had a low battery. It was low enough that just a few hours later we heard it going off, discovered the tripped circuit and non-powered freezer and were able to get it turned back on before we lost any food. Good thing too as it was stuffed full from a cooking day! I will be keeping that alarm plugged in right there, and hopefully it will be my carbon monoxide/your freezer has lost power alarm!

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  13. Amber Sumner says

    We bought a new chest freezer recently and it came with a built-in, battery operated alarm that will sound when the temperature drops below a certain level. I am sure it will be a freezer-saver one day!

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  14. says

    We purchased an inexpensive freezer alarm for the same reason. It’s not loud enough to do any good. I would definitely recommend buying a more expensive one!

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  15. Rebecca says

    OUR new chest freezer came with an alarm, which is nice. But I have never lost a freezer full of food, even when we lost power due to 14inches of water in the basement. The old freezer died due to the water, but the door of the upright stayed sealed and kept it closed for 2 days, even in June everything was still frozen when we took it out. No water got in so we saved everything

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  16. sally mcquaid says

    We bought one on amazon for ~$25 last year. After my 3 year old son unplugged out freezer TWICE!!. The first time was right before we all got in the car for a week vacation to my parents. the freezer was full with food we had made or stocked from the grocery store. It smelled so bad and was so gross!!

    The second time was about 8 months later while my husband was out of the country (mission trip to Haiti) and my mother was helping me with the kids. Again we lost everything, including all the meat we had recently purchased. Again we threw it all away and had a very gross mess to clean up.

    Now we have a great alarm (and a piece of cardboard blocking the outlet). It works great. It even goes off when we keep it open to long with loading it. Great investment.

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  17. Jocelyn Skelly says

    I just bought one, thank you! I lost an entire freezer full of food years ago to a door left ajar…painful. And then this summer my sister-in-law lost an entire freezer full to a child not closing the door after sneaking a popsicle…and she had a house full of guests (my family). I bought one for her, too. I’m so thankful for this post. I had no idea such a thing existed.

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  18. Vicki says

    Another good lesson that I’ve learned- don’t put all your meat in one freezer, veggies in another etc. Mix things up so if you do lose a whole freezer, you don’t lose all your meat or all your fruit.

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