Everything You Need to Know About Smart Smoke Detectors

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Smoke Detectors
Photo: Charles Brutlag, Shutterstock

Smart smoke detectors are one of many smart technologies entering the market for homeowners. These modern smoke detectors have more safety features than traditional smoke detectors, and many of them connect right to your smartphone and will send emergency alerts.

Here is everything you need to know about smart smoke detectors, including information about the most popular models, and how you can maintain them to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

What is a smart smoke detector?

A smart smoke detector is a device that communicates with most other connected devices in your home when it detects rising temperatures or smoke. Many detectors can now be integrated into your home’s security system and connected to your other favourite smart devices.

There are three different types of smart smoke detectors, including:

  • Photoelectric detectors
  • Ionization detectors
  • Dual-sensor detectors

Each type of detector detects smoke differently. For example, ionization detectors detect smoke produced by flaming fires quickly. In contrast, photoelectric detectors will quickly detect it from a smouldering fire.

However, no one type of smoke detector is the best, as each fire that can break out in a home varies. It’s also worth noting that the location of your smoke detectors plays an important role in their ability to detect fires.

Should you buy a smart smoke detector?

A primary benefit of using a smart smoke detector is that you can remotely monitor any emergencies in your home, which is useful if you’re away from your home on vacation, at work, or running errands. You can receive instant notifications, and if you are home in the event of a fire, you can shut off the alarm using simple voice commands.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire research shows that today’s modern furnishings cause home fires to spread more quickly than they did in the past when most furniture was made of natural materials. When a fire starts in a home, those inside may have limited time to make it out safely.

Because smart smoke detectors come with better safety features than a basic smoke detector, they give you more peace of mind and protection. Additionally, there have been instances where basic smoke detectors fail to detect smoke. For example, around 226,000 Kidde TruSense smoke and combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors were recalled in May 2021.

Popular smart smoke detectors

Here are some of the most popular smart smoke detectors on the market, and what to know about them.

Google Nest Protect

The Google Nest Protect can detect smoke and carbon monoxide in your home. It comes in wired and battery-powered versions and will not only sound an alarm but tell you what room the alert is coming from and the nature of the alert.

If you have more than one in your home, alarms sound on the other devices if one goes off. The Nest Protect also works with various smart home devices for ease of use and connectivity.

OneLink Safe & Sound

Some main features of the OneLink Safe & Sound smart smoke detector are smart protection, built-in Alexa, a premium speaker, and a customisable nightlight. It has a smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide photoelectric smoke sensor built in, and it works with Apple HomeKit, too.

This smart smoke detector also sends alerts to your phone and will tell you the type of emergency and where it’s located in your home. The OneLink Home companion app also makes it simple to test and silence your alarm.

XSense XSOI-WT Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm

While the XSense XSOI-WT Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm may not be as advanced as the Nest Protect or Safe & Sound smart detectors, it is an affordable, budget-friendly option. It goes for around $50, is easy to install, and operates intuitively. Keep in mind that this model does not detect carbon monoxide, units cannot be interconnected, and there’s no voice assistant support.

Maintaining a smart smoke detector

Before purchasing any smoke detectors for your home, be sure to assess how many you need depending on your home’s size. At a minimum, place one smoke detector on each level of your home — it’s best to put one in each room of your home for optimal safety.

The main benefit of a smart smoke detector is that you can set it and forget it. When it is time to replace the batteries, your smartphone app will automatically alert you. Most of them also will tell you that battery power is getting low, so you’ll never go unprotected.

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