Here are two current model First Alert™ smoke detectors, placed as someone might mount them on their bedroom wall. What’s wrong with this picture?


Answer: The smoke detector on the left is mounted in an improper orientation.

That’s right—according to the instructions, which are very specific about this, this smoke detector is to be mounted only in the orientation shown to the right: logo inexplicably sideways, with all visual features presented asymmetrically.

What has happened to a manufacturer’s pride in his product? Is it even rational to believe that it was technically impossible to design the guts of this detector in the proper orientation to work, while simultaneously constructing a cover for it that doesn’t immediately do violence to everyone’s most primal aesthetic sensibilities? Is the company not even ashamed to have its own corporate logo running in an awkward direction on its own product for absolutely no logical reason?

Of course, as a consumer, the final insult in this product is the curse of being forever judged by every future houseguest to be a doofus-class handyman who doesn’t even care enough to mount a smoke detector “correctly.”

Next time I’m in the market for life safety equipment, I believe I’m going to pass on buying any product made by a company whose whole design ethic fairly screams, “We just don’t care.”

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