Every home has smoke detectors. They are required by law and rightfully so as they are the first warning sign of smoke or fire in the home. The “dumb” smoke detectors most of us have in the home do require checkups and tests to ensure they are functioning. Let’s be honest, most of us only check on our smoke detectors when they start with those annoying beeps when the battery is low. 

Smart smoke detectors run these tests for us. Every month, or however often necessary, a smart smoke detector will run its own safety tests to ensure they are working properly. These test results are then sent to you in a companion app letting you know everything is ok or if something needs attention. 

The biggest benefit of having a smart smoke detector is notifications. If you are away from the home and the alarm goes off, you are essentially in the dark. Unless your neighbors happen to hear it, there is nothing that can be done until there are visible flames. By that time, it’s probably too late. These notifications can save your home from severe damage and allow you the time to call the fire department and get them there asap! 

There a handful of smart smoke detectors on the market. We recommend the Nest Protect hands down. 

What to look for in a smart smoke detector

Smart Smoke Detectors need to be there for us when we need them most and we need need to trust them to do that. If not, are they really even worth it? Here are a few things to look for in a smart smoke detector:

  • Carbon Monoxide detection. Make sure you have all your bases covered with a Carbon Monoxide/Smoke detector combo. Most will have both but make sure to do your due diligence. 
  • Wired or Wireless. You can hardwire some smoke detectors into your home. If you are looking for a battery powered smoke detector, make sure you are getting just that. 
  • Notifications. The biggest benefit in my opinion to having a smart smoke detector is the notifications. If it does not notify you one way or the other, is it even smart?
  • Self-testing. We don’t test our smoke detectors often enough. Having this task automated is a huge benefit.  

Our Favorite Smart Smoke Detector 

Nest Protect (wired model). This is the best smart smoke detector on the market right now. The Nest Protect will also detect Carbon Monoxide in the home. These are great as they will actually tell you where smoke in the house is detected. If you are away from home, you will get a notification. If you are at home, you will get an actual voice prompt. For Example, Nest will say “Head’s up, there’s smoke in the kitchen.” The Nest fits into multiple smart home ecosystems, will run tests itself and send you the results, can be controlled via app and will last up to 10 years! If you are looking to upgrade your smoke detector, do yourself a favor and get the Nest Protect. 

Pros

  • Wired and battery power options. 
  • Self-testing with reports
  • Phone Alerts while you are away
  • Voice warnings and alarms

Cons

  • Price. They are a little over a hundred at the time of writing.
  • 2-year warranty. The competition offers 3-year warranties 

Our Favorite Smart Smoke and CO Listener

Ring Alarm Smoke and CO Listener. A listener does just what it names describes, it listens for the sound of a smoke or CO alarm. When it does hear the alarm, it then alerts you with a notification to the app. These are beneficial as they are a bit more affordable than outfitting your entire home with smart smoke detectors. They will need to be close to the actual alarm, mounted 3-6 inches from the existing alarm for best performance. The biggest downfall of this device is it does require the Ring Alarm Security Kit. 

Pros

  • Turns “dumb” smoke alarms “smart”
  • Fits into the Ring ecosystem 
  • Inexpensive compared to upgrading the actual smoke detector 

Cons

  • Requires the Ring Alarm Security Kit
  • Extra device that will need to go on the wall