On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Brent called in to our voicemail hotline to ask about smart smoke detectors. Specifically, he’s interested in what interesting functions they offer that can give him more bang for his buck.
We tackled this question from two different perspectives because the most “bang for the buck” may be to use devices you already have; more on that in a minute. Our second alternative is to review truly smart smoke detectors on the market. If you use these throughout your home, be prepared to drop a big chunk of change.
So, about using devices you may already have: There are several smoke alarm options available that simply listen for your current smoke detector’s alarm. The $20 Wyze Cam, for example, has an in-app setting for this. By enabling it, the webcam will send you a notification any time it hears the alarm of your standard smoke detector.
If you’re currently the owner of Google Nest products, the new Nest Aware subscription plans include this same functionality. Google says that Nest speakers and smart displays will listen for alarm sounds and notify you of a potential fire or carbon monoxide issue if you have those detectors in your home.
Not to be outdone by Google, Amazon has a subscription-free Alexa Guard feature that does the same thing. You’ll find it in the Alexa app under Settings: Just look for the Guard option to enable it. It works with all Alexa speakers. You can also buy a sensor that “listens for a smoke alarm. Ring sells one of these for $35 that works in conjunction with its alarm kit.
The more expensive route is to replace all of the old smoke detectors in your home and we suggest three options to consider, depending on if your smart home is built around products by Amazon, Apple, or Google.
The Amazon Alexa crowd would be best served by the most expensive option we found: The Onelink Safe & Sound by First Alert for $249, although at the time of writing, it’s discounted to $172.99. This smart product detects the presence of both smoke and carbon monoxide, has a high-quality built-in speaker and microphone and acts as an Alexa device. Stacey reviewed it a year ago and found it to be a fantastic device overall.
I thought that an Apple HomeKit smoke detector would be equally as expensive but surprise, surprise: The First Alert Onelink costs $49, is HomeKit compatible thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, and also detects both smoke and carbon monoxide.
Lastly, Google sells the Nest Protect smart smoke alarms for $119 in your choice of wired or battery powered. It doesn’t have speakers for music or Google Assistant commands, which may explain why it’s less expensive than the Alexa option previously mentioned. But it does detect smoke and CO, plus it runs diagnostics on the sensors and battery multiple times daily, per Google.
To hear Brent’s question in full, along with our discussion, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: