Smart Smoke Alarms: The New Nest Protect Smoke Detector & Other Modern Options
What the Nest Thermostat did for normally ho-hum HVAC thermostat controls, the newly announced Nest Protect smoke alarm hopes to do for home fire safety. Ideal timing, considering it’s Fire Prevention Week. The Nest Protect is heading up a new generation of smarter and easier to control fire alarms…
So what’s new about the Protect versus a typical smoke alarm? How often does a home’s smoke detector go off when cooking on the stove or burning toast? Heads-Up and Nest Wave are two features designed for the Nest Protect that solve this common problem that inevitably happens while living with smoke alarms. With the Heads-Up system, the Nest Protect lights up yellow, sends a mobile notification, and announces in a human voice that smoke and/or carbon monoxide levels are rising. This gives homeowners “time to identify and address the problem without a screeching alarm going off.”
With Nest Wave, when the alarm is going off, users can silence an alarm with just a wave of a hand 2 to 8 feet away. This allows for a safe and calm manner of silencing the alarm without having to scramble for a chair or step ladder and a magazine to wave wildly, like we’ve all done with smoke alarms.
The Nest Protect also includes a carbon monoxide detector, which is now becoming required by law in many states. The NFPA calls carbon monoxide a silent killer, as it is invisible, odorless, and colorless. Heating and cooking equipment are common sources of carbon monoxide throughout the home, as are vehicles and generators running in the garage without proper ventilation and air flow.
Now for the connected smart features: With its built-in Wi-Fi connection, the Nest Protect can communicate with additional units throughout the home, announcing which room an alarm might be sounding from. Wi-Fi connectivity also allows the Nest Protect to send notifications, check battery and sensor status, adjust settings, turn on/off the Pathlight built-in night light, as well as information on what to do in case of an emergency, all from compatible smartphones and tablets.
All this functionality beyond a typical smoke detector is not cheap. The Nest Protect can be pre-ordered in black or white for $129. A generic battery operated smoke detector can be had for under $10, while an interconnected model with carbon monoxide detector and battery backup goes for around $50.
Like the Nest Protect, the Birdi is always connected and has the ability to call/send an SMS in case of emergency. A smartphone can also monitor the device. There is a social component of the Birdi also – once devices start spreading around, air quality can be monitored on a broader scale.
Not all “smart” detectors are about apps, notifications, and other 2.0 features. The SmartOne line of Intelligent Detectors are all about extended interior monitoring features. Ionization, photoelectric, and thermal models all detect smoke and allow for continuous monitoring. The device has an interface that allows connection to “fire alarm devices, such as water flow and tamper switches” for full integration with a larger fire suppression system.
Jalo Helsinki Kupu
Fans of the Jalo Helsinki Kupu smoke detector will need to look abroad to Amazon UK or eBay (green, grey, white, brown) to get their hands on this modern minimalist model. The Kupu uses an optical smoke detector powered by a lithium battery, and was designed designed by Harri Hoskinen of international fame. The entire casing acts as a switch for silencing alarms and the 3M double-sided tape on the back doesn’t require screws to install, ideal for renters.
Jacob Jensen Smoke Alarm
The Jacob Jensen designed Smoke Alarm looks like something out of a science fiction film, but the $107 optical smoke detector is otherwise typical of a normal model.
Foregoing any semblance to any other smoke detector, the cute Chick-a-Dee sings “chick-a-dee-dee” when detecting any bit of smoke indoors, and calls a louder “dee-dee-dee” in more serious circumstances. Think of it as a cute home “canary in a coal mine” safety device.
MORE FIRE SAFETY & SMOKE DETECTORS ON APARTMENT THERAPY
- Safety Tips for Fire Prevention Week
- Fire Prevention Week: Only YOU Can Prevent House Fires
- Do You Know Where to Place Smoke Alarms?
- How To Stop Annoying Smoke Detector False Alarms
- Your Smoke Detector Questions, Answered
- Style & Safety: Silhouette Smoke Alarm from Kidde
- Put a Bird On Your Smoke Detector
(Images: as linked above)