How to install a cheap and easy freezer or refrigerator door alarm. This is a simple hack that can save you a lot of money in wasted food.
We store food, such as the chicken that we had processed earlier this year. We have a small fridge and two freezers in the garage (one needs to go, but we’re still transitioning). I LOVE STORING FOOD.
But I hates losing food because the freezer is left open.
I wish I could say this hadn’t happened more than once, but unfortunately at our old house this happened two or three times. It was a major crisis for me and I freaked out.
It’s “just food” or “just money” until you consider the time you spent prepping freezer meals or putting food away from your garden for the off season. There were tears.
When we upgraded to the taller freezer and started freezing 17 birds at a time, I knew I needed to be on my A game to make sure that there were no great big crises. Checking the freezer five plus times a day ended up being a norm for a while and it was exhausting.
So I decided to figure out how to hack a refrigerator alarm CHEAP. There are a few benefits to this alarm:
- When the door opens, an alarm sounds, alerting me that my husband or children are in the freezer/refrigerator in the garage.
- When the door closes, the alarm goes off which tells me I can stop worrying about the food going bad.
- The noise scares the kids (it’s SO LOUD) so they tend to shut things quickly when it goes off. The alarm immediately ceases when the door closes so it’s an immediate reward for them.
- I can place the alarm high enough or far back enough that it’s not easy for the kids to switch the alarm off.
The main downfall to these kind of alarms is that the button to turn off the alarm is RIGHT THERE so if your kids can reach, they’ll turn it off. It works well for our young kids, but if I was trying to keep a coworker or my husband out of the freezer, this wouldn’t be effective.
So here’s how to set it up. This 2 pack below was $9.70 when I bought it on sale. So each freezer cost me $4.85 to put an alarm on. The price is right!
Each alarm has two pieces. The two pieces need to be snuggled up against each other or the alarm will be triggered. There can’t be any gap.
On the side of the larger piece, there’s a switch and you can turn the switch to three modes: Alarm, Chime, or Off.
Deep Freezer with Alarm
With our deep freezer, the setup was fairly simple. I used the double sided stick tape to attach each alarm piece- one to the top door and one to the main freezer.
When I’m attaching it, I keep the alarm in on mode so I can make sure the placement is close enough to make this effective.
For this freezer, the kids can reach the alarm to turn it off or accidentally pull it off so I made sure to place it towards the back of the freezer where they’re less likely to see it or be able to reach it (there’s some clutter in the way, lol).
Tall Freezer or Refrigerator Alarm
For our tall freezer, I had to get creative. The gap between the door and the main appliance is fairly substantial. There was no way I could place this normally.
Supplies: Duct tape and a piece of scrap cardboard
I folded a thin piece of scrap cardboard in half then used some duct tape over it. I just wanted it to be pretty sturdy and not floppy… you don’t want it getting in the way of the door or being unable to support the weight of the alarm.
I taped that piece of cardboard to the top of the freezer.
This allowed me to put the thin alarm piece directly on the door, then I placed the larger alarm piece on the cardboard/duct tape setup.
Here’s a video showing how I set up the alarms. You can hear how loud the alarms are (sorry, cover your ears) and see how they work.
Just don’t forget that this alarm requires batteries… they last pretty well, but if you leave the door open for hours, I imagine it’ll wear out pretty quick. Not sure how anyone could handle the noise from that…. but ya know.If you love to sew or are interested in learning, you might like my book, Sewing Projects for Your Kitchen.
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Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.