The Best Smart Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are an essential element in ensuring the safety of your house. They can help you if there is a fire or smoke in the house. Smoke detectors sometimes make noise, but that is okay. They need to make noise, so you know something is happening.
That’s why more people are considering the benefits of using smart smoke detectors. Smart smoke detectors can save you time and money by delivering notifications to your phone when you’re not at home or alerting you to growing carbon monoxide levels.
1. Google Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The Nest Protect detects not only smoke and fire but also carbon monoxide. When our Lab experts tested this, they found that it is different from other smoke detectors because it has a human voice that tells you where in the house the problem is. We also loved that these are remotely connected and may send alerts to other Nest Protect units in the house. You’ll get a warning regardless of whatever room you’re in.
The alert system comes from the ceiling and phone app. This means that you and other people can be alerted if you are home or not. Unlike other gadgets, the app will notify you when the battery needs to be replaced before running out of power. It is available in both hardwired and battery-powered versions.
2. Kidde Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector
The Kidde smoke detector is a good brand with a great price. This particular smoke detector can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. It also has voice alerts that say things like “Fire, fire,” “Warning, carbon monoxide,” and “Low battery.” It also works on two AA batteries, so it will never stop working if the power goes out.
3. First Alert Z-Wave Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
This smart smoke detector will work if you own a Ring security system. It is very easy to set up. You will get notifications when there is smoke or carbon monoxide detected. The alarm on this detector is very loud. Two AA batteries power it.
The product has received over 5,800 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. People have said it is easy to set up with Ring, often taking less than a minute. The unit is also compatible with SmartThings and Nexxia Home Intelligence when connected to a Z-Wave Plus gateway hub (sold separately). In our lab tests, we found it simple to install and use successfully!
4. First Alert OneLink Safe and Sound Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
This smart smoke detector can do much more than detecting smoke and carbon monoxide. It also includes the Alexa capability, so you can ask it to play music or podcasts. You may also use the Alexa feature as an intercom to communicate with other Alexa users in your home. This smoke detector is also compatible with Apple HomeKit, so you can control it using Siri.
The First Alert overall brand is a good one. The smart smoke detector has a nice design and gives voice alerts. It also sends mobile notifications. But we found in testing that the phone alerts wouldn’t send every time. The unit is hardwired but comes with adapters, so re-wiring is unnecessary. It has 850 reviews, including almost 500 perfect 5-star ratings.
5. 10-Year Battery Smoke and CO Detector by X-sense
This smoke detector doesn’t need batteries, which is helpful because you don’t have to keep changing them. You don’t have to hardwire it, either- it’s easy to set up. Plus, it detects both smoke and carbon monoxide.
This detector has smart features like activating immediately and a battery self-check function. It also has an LCD with real-time carbon monoxide readings and LED indicators for power, low battery, and alarm. The downside is that it does not connect to WiFi, so you will not get alerts on your phone like other detectors, but it is good for someone who does not want to deal with WiFi and apps.
When Looking for Smart Smoke Alarms, What Should You Look for?
• Smoke and carbon monoxide detection:
Getting a carbon monoxide detector is important if you do not have one already. A smart smoke detector that identifies carbon monoxide is a good option since it can’t be seen or smelled.
• Notification type:
Some smart detectors also give voice alerts and push notifications to your phone (or multiple users’ phones) that tell you what problem has been detected.
• Smart hub compatibility:
It is best to buy a smart device that uses the same system as your hub or is compatible with it. This will give you the best and most functionality.
• Hardwired vs. battery-powered:
Some smoke detectors are hardwired into your home. This means they will always have power, and you do not need to worry about the battery running out. Other smoke detectors run on batteries, but these are easier to place where you need them, and there is no worry if the power goes out.
How to Use Smart Detectors and Monitors
What is a Smart Smoke Alarm?
Bright smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are connected to your house’s Wi-Fi and, consequently, your smartphone, like most other smart home devices. In other words, they are more advanced than the typical smoke alarm you might find in a home. Some high-end models include additional “smart” functionalities, such as voice commands through Alexa, weather updates, voice alerts, programmable night lighting, and more, in addition to this essential advantage.
What is a Monitor?
Monitors will effectively “listen” to your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If they hear any of those alarms going off, they will notify you via a notification sent to your smartphone. They are often installed near the smoke detectors you already have in your home. Some run on batteries, others are powered by plugging into an electrical outlet, and they are linked to the Wi-Fi network in your house. However, you won’t be able to turn off your smoke detectors with them, and they won’t stop the low-battery chirps that occur at two in the morning.
Why Is It Necessary for Smoke Alarms to Be “Smart”?
Smoke detectors are an excellent illustration of a product that can significantly profit from the addition of smart capabilities. Why? Standard detectors have a few key flaws, the most notable of which is that they are not helpful when you are not at your residence. If your smoke detectors are not linked to the local fire department — and the vast majority are not — and a fire starts when no one is home, no matter how loud the alarms are. In addition, there is not even a mention of the dreaded low-battery chirps that occur around three in the morning; we could all do without those.
You may avoid these problems by installing a smart smoke detector, which can alert you via smartphone if the alarm sounds and caution you if the battery is becoming low. The “smart” functionality of the smoke alarm can not only provide you with peace of mind while you are away from home. However, it can also help you save time and effort when changing the batteries in those annoying smoke alarms. Additionally, suppose you ever accidentally set off your smart alarm by burning popcorn. In that case, you can immediately stop the detector from its app. It saves you the trouble of grabbing a chair and walking up there to manually mute it. This feature is available on most smart alarms.
Photoelectric vs. Ionization Smoke Detectors
Three varieties of smoke detectors are available for purchase: photoelectric, ionization, and dual-sensor models. These phrases refer to the apparatus utilized in the smoke detection process.
Photoelectric smoke detectors consist of a light source directed into a detecting chamber. When smoke particles reach the chamber, they reflect light onto the sensor, which then causes the alarm to go off. This category of smoke detector is better at detecting fires that have been smoldering for a significant amount of time before being discovered.
On the other hand, Ionization smoke detectors include a trace quantity of radioactive material sandwiched between two electrically charged plates. It ionizes the air, thus the name, and generates a current between the plates. If smoke particles enter the chamber, the current will be interrupted, triggering the alarm. In most cases, this type of smoke detector will be able to detect blazing flames more quickly than others.
There is also a type of smoke detector known as a dual-sensor smoke detector that combines ionization and photoelectric technology. Dual-sensor detectors are recommended by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) for comprehensive home protection because they effectively monitor both residential and commercial fires.
Other Smart Smoke Carbon Monoxide Detectors And Monitors
1. First Alert 2-in-1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (second-gen)
The First Alert 2-in-1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (second generation) is well-suited for smart homes with a Z-wave hub, such as Ring Alarm or Samsung SmartThings. The detector, powered by two AA batteries, only connects via Z-Wave Plus, a low-frequency wireless signal with a larger coverage area and improved communication than the first-generation Z-Wave alarm. We coupled the monitor with a Z-wave-compatible Ring Alarm Pro base station to test it. Due to Ring app bugs, it took numerous attempts to add the device; however, closing and reopening the app multiple times accomplished the task.
The device immediately detects smoke, which generates instantaneous push warnings to your phone and an 85-decibel alarm from the detector. Ring Alarm base stations double as sirens, which can be silenced immediately from the Ring app. The app doesn’t have a setting to turn off the detection. It is one of the most annoying elements of the alarm since you will always need a chair or ladder to reach up and disable it.
The detector is compatible with the Amazon Echo ecosystem but not with Apple HomeKit or Google Home. Supposedly, when the sensor requires attention, the gadget can make announcements via Echo smart speakers and displays. However, we were unable to test this functionality. However, with the push alerts and different alarm tones, it is difficult to miss any alarm events.
If you use the gadget with a Ring Alarm or Ring Alarm Pro base station. (along with a paid Ring Protect Pro subscription), Ring’s expert monitoring team will automatically notify emergency personnel when the device senses a problem at your house. Combining it with the Ring Alarm Pro with a built-in Wi-Fi router can keep the detector online even if Wi-Fi connectivity is lost. (Access to the base station’s 24/7 internet backup service requires the Ring Protect Pro package.)
Despite a few setup and usability oddities, the First Alert 2-in-1 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (second generation) is an excellent choice for Z-wave-dependent smart homes.
2. Abode Smoke Alarm Monitor
The Abode Smoke Alarm Monitor receives top scores for performance. It pushes alerts to your phone within seconds of hearing a smoke alarm activate and, unlike other monitors we tested, emits its high-pitched siren.
This battery-powered smoke alarm monitor is simple to install. You can use screws or double-sided tape to put the compact gadget near your existing smoke detectors on the ceiling. It is also simple to pair with the accompanying app, which is intuitive and user-friendly. This system sends notifications if it ever loses its Wi-Fi connection. We liked that you could quickly silence the monitor via the app.
The most significant disadvantage of this monitor is that it must be coupled with the Abode Gateway, and the brand’s “Starter Kit” costs $199. Suppose you already have the gateway or are interested in a do-it-yourself security system. In that case, this monitor is an excellent option.
3. X-sense Wi-Fi Smoke Detector
The X-sense Wi-Fi Smoke Detector is a small, lithium-battery-powered gadget with photoelectric smoke detectors (but not carbon monoxide levels like others in our guide).
The gadget is not compatible with the Amazon Echo or Google Home ecosystems. However, the TuyaSmart app for iOS and Android allows for remote management. The device lacks the intuitive features and valuable intelligence of the Nest Protect. Still, it is also one of the least costly smoke detectors in our roundup.
Several Amazon reviewers state that they have trouble connecting the device to Wi-Fi during setup. Using a dual-band Eero Mesh Wi-Fi router, we had no connection issues. However, the alarm requires a 2.4 GHz wireless network to function.
The X-sense Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm took several seconds longer than the Nest Protects to detect smoke, but once the alarm sounded, alerts were received fast. The 85-decibel tone is loud enough to be heard from another room, but it is more difficult to hear from the other side of the house or the garage. To address this, connect more X-sense smoke alarms to the same Wi-Fi network so that when one alarm sounds, they all do. A blinking red light on the alarm is a handy visual cue when the alarm sounds.
In the X-sense app, you can mute the alarm, study the alarm’s history, and examine the outcomes of the device’s automatic self-checks. A problem we encountered with this app was that it continued to indicate a fire hazard after the smoke had gone. It took a few minutes for the application to indicate that everything had been restored.
The alarm requires a CRR123A 3-volt lithium battery, which is less common than the AA or 9V batteries you may have lying around. Low battery alerts are generated when it’s time to replace the battery. By registering the gadget with X-sense, a seven-year guarantee is activated.
Compared to other smoke detectors in our guide, the X-sense Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm lacks capabilities. Still, it is one of the least expensive options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Smart Smoke Detector
Smoke alarms and CO detectors can save your life by alerting you to danger even when you’re not home. They can also protect your biggest financial investment, your home.
Google Nest Protect is the only smoke alarm you should buy because it provides quick notifications to your phone, has a fantastic design, is easy to mute, and warns before triggering its siren. The Protect also self-tests and has a motion-activated path light.
You should install a fire detector in every bedroom and outside of each sleeping area. For example, if you have a two-story home with three bedrooms, you should have at least seven smoke alarms. Even if your property has a predetermined number of hardwired alarms, you can still install additional battery-operated smoke alarms around the house.
The SimpliSafe smoke detector is a reliable product made by a well-known company. This smoke detector is fast to detect any flame particles and alert you effectively.
Smart smoke detectors use Wi-Fi or similar communication technology to connect to your smart home hub (if you have one). If there is a false alert, you can silence it using your smartphone.
The Nest Protect smoke and CO detectors will continue to work normally. The Nest Protect is not being discontinued this week. Of course, the Nest cameras and the Nest Aware subscription service will continue to work as usual.
Otherwise known as addressable fire alarms, intelligent control systems are more sophisticated than conventional fire alarm systems. They can tell exactly where the fire is. These systems can be very simple, using only one device, or extremely complex with several hundred devices.