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Kidde History

Since 1917, Kidde has been writing the story of the fire detection and suppression industry. This legacy of more than 100 years is marked by proven innovation and significant milestones.


  • 1877 – Walter Kidde is born in Hoboken, NJ on March 7

  • 1917 – Walter Kidde Company is founded

  • 1917 – Kidde takes ownership of the Rich patent for the use of carbon dioxide for suppression of large fires, particularly aimed at ship fires

  • 1918 – Produced the first integrated smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing system for use on board ships

  • 1923 – Patented the Lux extinguishing system, a carbon dioxide system installed on ships

  • 1924 – Produced the first portable carbon dioxide fire extinguisher

  • 1925 – Installed the first built-in industrial fire extinguishing system

  • 1926 – Walter Kidde & Company, along with the Navy, designed a system to protect airplane engines against fires

  • 1931 – Walter Kidde Ltd is set up in the UK as a supplier of fire protection equipment

  • 1937 – Walter Kidde & Company is formed based in Belleville, New Jersey

  • Early 1940s – Walter Kidde Company produced self-inflating life rafts and flotation vests, specially designed fire extinguishers for ships, tanks and aircraft, fire suppression systems for aircraft engines and compressed carbon dioxide devices for operating retractable landing gear and bomb bay doors and compressed oxygen systems for B-17 and B-29 bomber crews among so many other items essential to Allied troop safety during World War 2

  • 1966 – Walter Kidde & Company acquires Fenwal, Inc. to create Kidde Fenwal

  • 1987 – Walter Kidde & Company is acquired by Hanson Industries

  • 1988 – Williams Holdings PLC acquires Kidde Inc. (USA), consisting of Walter Kidde Aerospace, Walter Kidde Systems, Walter Kidde Portables and Fenwal Inc. as well as Walter Kidde Ltd (UK), some Walter Kidde European subsidiaries and also Graviner (UK), Deugra (Germany) and Detector Electronics (US)  - all this to form the Kidde Group

  • 1989 – Walter Kidde Limited UK is merged with the Graviner UK company, creating Kidde-Graviner Ltd.

  • 1990 – The shield is adopted as the logo for the Kidde companies

  • 1991 – The broken flame logo is adopted and Kidde-Fenwal is established in the US

  • 1992 – Kidde France and Kidde-Deugra established

  • 1993 – The official name is changed to Kidde International after undergoing several name changes throughout the preceding decades. Thorn Fire Protection is also acquired

  • 1995 – Kidde purchases Nighthawk and begins to sell CO and smoke alarms.

  • 2000 – Kidde plc. is formed and Kidde replaces Kidde International as the corporate name. Packaging and retail materials are re-designed to support the new brand, and Kidde establishes a leadership position in its segment

  • 2005 – UTC Fire & Security acquires Kidde PLC and joins it with Chubb

  • 2007 – Kidde celebrates its 90th Anniversary

  • 2012 – Kidde introduces new Worry-Free line of smoke alarms with a 10-year sealed-in lithium battery

  • 2013 – Kidde becomes first manufacturer to offer carbon monoxide alarms designed to last 10 years

  • 2017 – Kidde celebrates its 100th Anniversary

  • 2017 – Kidde releases P4010 Series alarms with 10-year sealed batteries and Wire-Free interconnect

  • 2020 - Kidde becomes part of Carrier Global Corporation

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