The most basic function of a fire monitoring system should be to alert you when there is carbon monoxide or smoke in your home. Today, smart home devices are able to do that and a whole lot more.
There are a variety of different devices out there that all aim to accomplish this basic task but many of them go about in different ways. And they come with other neat features too.
Are you interested in upgrading your home’s fire monitoring system but aren’t sure which device to get? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading to learn more about these helpful gadgets.
What to Look for in a Smart Fire Monitoring System
There’s no reason today why your fire monitoring system shouldn’t be able to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide (CO). Breathing in carbon monoxide can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, and other ailments. If the levels are high enough, an exposed person could fall unconscious or even die.
Don’t try to skimp out and only get a smoke detector as it’s simply not worth it.
You’ll also want a detector that is sensitive and accurate. Many smart products on the market today, like the Nest protect, use a photoelectric split-spectrum sensor.
This is considered by fire prevention experts to be superior to the ionization sensors that many older detectors use.
Type of Alert
When it comes to smoke alarms, you want one that’s going to be loud, annoying, and obstructive. It needs to get your attention no matter where you are in the home.
There are several types of detectors that speak as well. They may tell you what kind of hazard is present and also what room it’s in. The alarm you pick should also send push notifications to your phone whenever it detects a problem.
Whether you live alone or with a whole family, it would be wise to purchase a detector that can alert multiple people at the same time. Everyone in your home should be able to get notifications when smoke or CO is detected. It’s also recommended to connect a neighbor to the system as well.
Several alarms also let you choose an emergency contact. If you don’t answer a push notification in time, the alarm will then alert your emergency contact.
Keeping Everything Connected
The more connected your smart home devices can be, the more protected your home will be. Consider purchasing a fire monitoring system that is the same brand as other smart products in your home.
This way, you can connect your detector to other devices such as lights, cameras, and locks. For example, if you use Nest Protect, when your alarm goes off, you can then access your Nest Cam and see what’s actually going on inside your home before you call any emergency services.
First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke and CO Alarm
The American safety brand company, First Alert, has a reputation for making quality smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. They make other safety equipment as well, including fire extinguishers and flashlights.
This fire monitoring system can also connect to Apple’s HomeKit. For example, you can use Siri to get a status check.
Onelink comes with other cool features too. You’ll receive voice warnings, push-alerts to your smartphone, and will be able to silence false alarms right from your phone.
This is one of the fastest responding fire monitoring systems on the market today. It sounds extremely loud which is what you want in a smoke alarm.
Nest Protect (Second Generation)
One of the most popular detectors out there today, Nest is known for making beautiful and function smart home devices. After the unfortunate recall of the first Nest Protect, the new Nest is more refined and better designed.
This Nest device can be integrated with our other Nest products including Nest Cam and Nest Learning Thermostat. With its square design and stainless steel mesh finish, the new Nest Protect is as aesthetically as one would expect from the smart home company.
Whether or not you have Wi-Fi, the detector will loudly state “Heads up. There’s smoke” when it senses smoke. It will also proclaim “Emergency, smoke detected,” if it believes it’s an emergency.
The Protect also communicates with the other Protects in the house. So if one device senses smoke, they all will sound alerts. It can also display a dim, white light when you walk under it at night so that you’re not in total darkness.
With Wi-Fi enabled, you can also use your phone to name each Protect in your home based on what room it’s in.
Kidde RemoteLync Monitor
This device is ideal for residents who don’t want to replace their current fire monitoring system but still want to upgrade to the 21st century.
The Kidde RemoteLync Monitor is designed to listen for carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. When it hears an alarm, it will send a push notification to your phone.
If you have a big home or multiple floors, you’re going to want to get multiple devices and place them strategically.
And if you have a Kidde Security cam, it will automatically turn on and start recording when the Monitor hears your smoke alarm.
Leeo Smart Alert
The Leeo Smart Alert system is similar to the Kidde RemoteLync Monitor but at a cheaper price and with other cool features. The device also emits a color-changing light to help illuminate dark hallways in your home.
Like the Kidde, it listens for specific frequencies and then sends a notification to your phone when it hears a smoke alarm. Extremely simple to use, if you wanted to move it to another room, all you have to do is unplug it and then plug it in at the new location.
From the Leeo app on your phone, the alert system can tell you the room’s temperature and humidity levels, adjust light color and brightness, and customize alerts.
In fact, the Leeo Smart Alert offers you over 16 million different color variations for your light. The light can also be dimmed and brightened.
When it senses a smoke alarm, your device will start flashing red. You’ll also receive a push notification to your phone.
If you don’t respond to that notification, the device will call you. After two tries, if you still don’t respond, the device will call a designated emergency contact.
When you respond, the app will ask either if you want to silence it or call 911. Although it can’t dial 911 for you, it can direct you to the emergency services that are local to your home as opposed to the one that is in your phone’s location.
You will also get push notifications if the room’s humidity levels or temperature fall above or below your set threshold.
Mydlink Smart Alarm Detector
Like the two previous devices, the Mydlink Smart Alarm Detector listens for smoke alarms and then sends you a notification.
The main advantage of this detector is that it can connect to all the other D-Link smart devices including their camera, sirens, smart plugs, and smart alarms.
It can also sense for other sounds. So it can alert you when it hears your doorbell ring or glass breaking.
When you plug it into your D-Link smart plug, you just have to press a button to connect to your Wi-Fi network and you’re good to go.
In its first year, this device won the TWICE Picks CES 2016 Award for the Home Automation Category.
Roost Smart Battery
A unique smart home device, Roost connects to your current fire monitoring system. It’s a Wi-Fi connected 9V battery that plugs into your smoke detector. It works just like a regular 9V battery but it also sends you push notifications.
A single battery is going to be cheaper than any other device but, depending on how many smoke detectors you have, it could quickly add up.
Roost’s main selling point is that when your smoke detector’s battery is low, you won’t have to deal with that awfully sounding chirp. Plus, this battery should last you at least 5 years.
Roost looks like a beautifully designed 9V battery. In the back, a small port acts as a microphone. And the bottom snaps off to reveal circuits.
The setup is easy and clearly illustrated in the Roost app. And you can label each battery on your phone so you’ll know which room is sounding off whenever you get an alert.
You can also set your emergency contact. The default emergency contact here is 911. You can also add family and friends straight from your phone’s contacts so that multiple people can receive push notifications.
The contact will then be sent an invitation link which they can either accept or decline.
With the app, you can also check on the power of the battery as well as the status of the detector’s room. And the notification that it sends to your phone even sounds like an alarm. It is loud and will get your attention for sure.
However, if your phone is set to silent or vibrate, the alarm won’t make a sound but instead will follow your phone’s settings.
Things to Watch out For
Also, be aware that if your detector just does a test alarm, Roost will still believe that a real alarm is going off.
It’s important to note that Roost won’t make your current detector better. So if you’re smoke detector is old and not great at detecting carbon monoxide or smoke, Roost won’t be able to help it. It can only let you know when your alarm is sounding.
However, if you have an old smoke detector like this, you should definitely replace it. A smoke detector is one thing that you do not want to wait to replace.
First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm
This smoke detector doesn’t have its own app. It works with Z-Wave hubs and is thus compatible with other Z-Wave systems. You can use the SmartThings app to control this device.
With SmartThings, you will be brought to a helpful alert screen when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. When the alarm goes off, you can easily activate your other Z-Wave devices including security systems, cameras, sound systems, and lights. You can also silence the detector if it’s a false alarm.
The benefit of using Z-Wave is that it can connect products and devices across different brands. So you don’t need exclusively First Alert smart devices to keep your home connected.
The Right Fire Monitoring System for You
As we can see, there a variety of useful and smart fire monitoring systems on the market today. All of the ones listed above are solid choices and all homes would benefit from any of these.
These smart detectors won’t only make your life easier and more manageable but they are more often better at detecting and alerting you of hazards when compared to more traditional devices.
With that said, consider what kind of smart devices you already have in your home or which ones you would like to get. The more connected you can keep everything, the more protected you’re going to be.
There are a bunch of different ways to keep your home connected. Check out our site to learn about more smart home innovation ideas.