On a recent IoT Podcast episode, we took a question from Ryan on our Voicemail hotline. Ryan wants to get notifications from smart smoke alarms on his farm. He looked into these a few years back but only found limited options. So he wants to know what smoke alarm systems today can send phone notifications.
Luckily, the number of available connected smoke detectors is much higher today than it was a handful of years ago. The challenge here is that Ryan needs phone alerts in case of a fire, given that he’s not just trying to protect his home, but his farm buildings too. We’re assuming that Ryan’s farm has network connectivity in all of the places he wants to install a smart smoke alarm system.
Surprisingly, not every connected smoke detector sends mobile notifications. Some simply announce alerts throughout the home. This makes sense if you’re actually at home but if not, you may not be aware of a potential disaster. Some systems also require a subscription for advanced features such as notifications.
Kidde does sell a $115.99 connected smoke and CO detector that sends phone notifications through the Kidde mobile app, so that’s one option. You’ll also get notifications when the backup battery needs replacing, which is a nice value-added feature. The product integrates with both Amazon and Google smart assistants if you want to check the alarm or device status by voice.
The First Alert OneLink line of smart smoke and CO detectors also sends phone notifications. Pricing varies based on the retailer but you can expect to pay around $125 per detector if you go this route. The company also offers Safe and Sound models that include speakers for Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant integration as well as phone notifications. You’ll pay more for Alexa in your detector though: Retail pricing ranges from $188 to $279 as of the time of this writing.
Google’s Nest Protect alarm system is another option here and is reasonably priced at $119 each. Like most of these devices, the Nest Protect monitors for both smoke and carbon monoxide. If the system identifies a fire or high level of CO, it will immediately alert all of the phones associated with a Google account. There’s no subscription fee for the alerts as the Nest Protect devices are not part of the Nest Aware security service.
Keep in mind that some smart speakers can listen for smoke alarm sounds. And that can potentially save you some money.
Amazon Echo devices support the free “Alexa Guard” service, which does this for example. Most recent Google Home speakers and Nest Hubs also support this listening and notification feature. However, this isn’t free. Instead, it’s part of the paid Nest Aware subscription service, which also adds video storage for Nest cameras. The devices can also listen for the sounds of breaking glass for security reasons.
If you’re already paying for Nest Aware then using Google smart speakers and displays might be a less expensive up-front option than replacing your smoke detectors.
To hear Ryan’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: