A Freezer Alarm Could Save Your Bacon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Perhaps you’re heard stories from friends or acquaintances who came home to find that a power failure — or careless child leaving the freezer door open — had caused the contents of their freezer to thaw completely, leaving a soggy, sad mess. You commiserated with their plight, but inwardly you were sighing, I’m so glad that’s not me.

Yeah, well, I thought that once, too. In fact I prided myself on the facts that ours was a chest freezer — and thus, could not appear to be shut when it had, indeed, been left open — and that our garage didn’t have electrical issues.

That is until the breaker went out one weekend during a home improvement project and we didn’t know that we had killed power to the freezer. Until three days later when I went to make lunch.

I called FishPapa at work, crying: mumble mumble died!

FP, alarmed: Who died?!

FM, wailing: The freezer!

FP, trying to maintain his composure: I’m so sorry that happened to you, honey.

Yes, so was I. I had recently scored some great grocery deals, and the freezer was stocked with a fortune of food for a fraction of the price. Sure, it wasn’t a lot of money that was lost, but it took a lot of work and time to coupon and shop and snag the deal. I vowed that a freezer fail would never again rob me blind.

So, the deep freeze sat dormant for a year, until I finally bought one of these babies: a freezer alarm.

A what?

A freezer alarm. It’s this little doo-dad that sits in my freezer and screams its head off if things start to heat up in there.

Our freezer is in the garage, right next to the entry to the house. FishPapa placed the sensor in the freezer and mounted the alarm right inside the house, securing the wire to the wall. It is a wonderful bit of security that gives me peace of mind. It cost about $10 (or free if you use Swagbucks) and has worked really well in the three to four months since we got it.

Our particular model goes off whenever the freezer has been opened for more than a few minutes, like when we’re loading or unloading many things at once. It seems rather “sensitive” which I like. I feel better that it goes off in such a short amount of time because I know that it’s working for me.

That is particularly helpful when it comes time to prepare a lot of meals at one time and fill the freezer like a crazy woman. Stay tuned for that early next week!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

Subscribe to Good Cheap Eats
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. I feel your pain. Our freezer is a huge upright that sits in a corner of my, umm, well it is supposed to be a dining room. We use it as a toy/music/school room/library. One day my youngest was putting away some toy cars in the big carrier case with wheels. He tucked it nicely next to the freezer. A day later I go to get something out of the freezer and notice I don’t have to pull very hard to get the door opened. There is a neat little pedal next to the freezer that you can step on to help you get the door open. Well, that little case of cars was sitting smack dab on top of that little pedal. Bummer. At least it wasn’t full.

    My husband’s grandmother who canned and put things up in the freezer finally insured everything in her freezers after losing so much food. Yep, insured. I’ll bet this alarm would have tickled her.

  2. Cas says

    About 6 months ago my freezer somehow got opened…a big huge upright. We had stuffed that thing to the max before I quit work…knowing that times would be tight. I paid full price for almost everything in there….it was before I had to really learn about saving and it was also in the days of 2 incomes…when we would spend way more money feeding 2 people than you should. When I think now what we used to go to the grocery store and spend I still cringe…needless to say I was very upset. I mean very upset. My husband was also but he didn’t quite understand why I was so completely rocked…he does now…now that we are slowly but surely restocking it …on a budget. So I totally understand the pain….the funny thing is ours does have an alarm and it is in my washroom and it is sensitive….it goes off if we leave it open for a few minutes just loading it…I don’t know why it didn’t this time.

  3. How cool is that gadget??!! That goes to the top of my “wanna” list! We left my 25 year old chest freezer in Missouri when we moved to Florida, no room on the moving truck…I miss it 🙁
    we have an upright that the door has gotten left open more than once, fortunately I’ve caught, but that won’t last.

  4. Penny says

    I have had a near miss with loosing all the food in the freezer. Thankfully, my freezer is the variety that attempts to suck the door closed itself, so that feature probably saved our butts. Some things towards the front started to unthaw a might, but the rest was just fine. Shew! After that mess, I have really started to can just about anything I can get my hands on, including meats and vegetables. My husband’s joke is that I’ll can anything that will sit still long enough! However, this gadget seems fabulous for the stuff which remains in deep freeze…largely because I ran out of jars. 😉

  5. yep that’s us only it was the refrigerator in the garage and the only way I realized it was I went to get cheese out of it’s freezer..thought…hum..must have left the door open…got to checking everything else..luckily didn’t lose everything. Weird thing is the potatoes in the crisper drawer froze and then thawed YUCK

  6. That happened to us a few weeks ago – although it was only long enough for all of the bananas to melt a lovely juice all over the inside, the fudgesicles to become unrecognizable, and the berries to start to “bleed.” Thankfully, the meat stayed rock hard since it was only unplugged for a few hours. I was still at the point of tears, though! 🙂 That is a great device and I definitely think we’re going to have to get ourselves one! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. Hattie says

    That’s so sweet of your husband to try to not laugh at you! Mine probably would have started cracking up at me…:) Although, he has now made a few trips to the grocery store for me with a list and a stack of coupons, so he might better understand why losing all of that hard work would cause one to start crying…:)

  8. What a great idea! I say that alo when I come here:-)

  9. We had a similar thing happen last week! Only it wasn’t that the power was out. It was because the freezer was a little too full and the ice cream held the lid up. Which led to lots of ice around the rim before I noticed. Sadly, the ice cream had been in there since before Christmas so we had been wasting $ cooling a freezer in our dining room that was open. We do have insurance on our freezer if our power goes out, but a $10 alarm would help for those times when we just stick too much stuff in there in an unorganized manner.

  10. Jennifer says

    I got my first chest freezer for Christmas, so I need to buy this as well! Great idea!

  11. Becky says

    My husband and our boys looooove kettle chips. They are crunchy and yummy. We’d love to try to Pirate booty snacks.

  12. Lori F. says

    Thanks so much for talking about the freezer alarm! We have a medium size upright and my children have left the door slightly ajar more than once. A couple of times it was left that way overnight and the things on the door completely defrosted. About 18 months ago a googled “freezer alarm” and didn’t find anything. I will be ordering this TODAY! $10 now is a small amount to insure a bigger loss later.

  13. Tara says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I will be investing in one for nothing more than some cheap peace-of-mind!

    We used to live in Florida and would buy a 1/4 cow in June…right before hurricane season hit. I would be so worried from June to November that we would have to evacuate and would come home to find everything thawed! We don’t worry too much about hurricanes these days, but anything could happen to cut power to my freezer. Thanks again for sharing!

  14. Linda says

    I’ve never heard of that! I am definitely getting one though….Last year I noticed a puddle of water coming from our freezer in the garage. Turns out a breaker was tripped and the freezer was on that breaker! The food was fine – it was only off for a few hours and everything was still frozen solid, so we were lucky! But this post reminds me that I need a dedicated outlet for the freezer and a freezer alarm!

  15. Ana says

    We’ve been wanting to purchase half a grass-fed steer but I’m concerned about losing the investment should something happen with the freezer. Looks like it’s not such a rarity. But an alarm is pretty inexpensive (I didn’t know). And I had no idea there was insurance on frozen goods. This was so helpful.

  16. Nikki says

    I had a freezer die once when I was 1000 miles away during Thanksgiving. The freezer was plugged into a faulty outlet. And when it stopped receiving power and the frozen meat thawed, the blood dripped through and right out the bottom. It was a horrid HORRID smell to behold after getting home a few days later. It completely killed the whole thing. I have a new freezer now. And I am SO GLAD to come across this handy tip. I’m going to get me one of those alarms immediately!

  17. Kim says

    That looks neat. We are in the process of looking for the right size freezer. I will be adding one of these to the list, as well. Thanks!

  18. This is genius! I remember well the day that my mother mourned the loss of months of pre-prepared frozen meals. I’ll be getting one of these. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Great idea! I did not know such an item existed but I need one ASAP. We have had some “close” calls but luckily not lost much food.
    Great post~

  20. Great tip, and thanks for including the price; that was one of my first questions. Just yesterday someone (not I!) left the freezer door open. Fortunately I noticed it before things were spoiled, but that doesn’t always happen!

  21. That is a great product and at only about $10 certainly affordable!!

    One question though, does the cord disrupt the seal very much?

  22. Gina S. says

    This is happened to us 3 times. 1. Power Failure 2. Stupidity. 3. Stupidity. Ha.
    Now we check the freezers (yes, freezers 2 big uprigths and 2 attached to the fridges, ha, yes fridges.) every night before bed, when we check all the doors to house to make sure they are locked. Ha. Paranoid a little? YES! Ha.

  23. So sorry to hear about your loss!
    I had never heard of a freezer alarm until our brand new refrigerator arrived Monday 🙂 The kids were admiring the inside of the freezer (I guess since they’d never seen 1 empty) when I hear this beeping sound. I finally realized it was the fridge! How great!
    Also, we fortunately found out that our Verizon (cable TV, ect) backup that’s in the garage is also plugged into the same outlet as our extra fridge. I had no idea the outlet was tripping and causing my fridge to turn off (recently moved). I would have definitely lost ALOT of food as well if I hadn’t gone investigating the noise.

  24. Leah says

    We actually have a fridge/freezer that has this device built in and you are right about it screaming its head off! I am glad to know that you can purchase them though, I really need one for an older freezer that keeps getting left open.

    A side note and off topic, I want say Thank You and Money Saving Mom so much for hosting the Eat from the Pantry Challenge this month. I learned some really important things about managing our stockpile better and how my shopping habits don’t always work for our eating preferences…things I never really considered before but are making a big difference in what we do now. It was fun, so thanks again 🙂

  25. J Walt says

    Just read your comments – where can I purchase one of these devices?
    Have had freezer loss twice now and have been searching for some type of alarm sinc our freezer is in the garage and we are not in there daily

    • Jessica Fisher says

      We bought ours through Amazon.

  26. J Walt says

    Thanks for the reply,but additional information would be greatly appreciated.I am still in the dark as to what I am suppose to be looking for on Amazon. Item number, model number, or even the name of the item would be helpful in placing a order. Finally, do you think this device will be loud enought to hear while in a room in the house which is near the garage? Thanks, J Walt

    • Jessica Fisher says

      The link in the post will take you to the item. And the third to the last paragraph explains how my husband installed it so that we could hear it in the house. Hope that helps.

  27. J Walt says

    Thanks – you have been a great help.I will get this ordered today and hope there will be no more freezer loss. Have a wonderful day. Walt

  28. Lawanna says

    Cool! I looked at the alarm and it sounds like it has a digital display so you can see the temp of the freezer/fridge. BUT the picture doesn’t show any display. Help, I’m confused…..does this just alarm when it’s too warm? Or how does it know it’s in the fridge instead of the freezer?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Lawanna, the particular model that I have just sounds the alarm when it gets too warm inside.

  29. Arlene says

    In addition to the alarm I would suggest you keep a sealed baggie of ice cubes in a spot you can keep your eye on. If you notice that all the ice in your baggie becomes one big chunk of ice you know your food defrosted and refroze.
    Great idea especially when you will be away on vacation.

  30. I didn’t know these existed so I was glad to hear about it, ordered one the same day!

Share Your Thoughts