Ever since you found out what happened at your neighbour's place up the street, you've been thinking about upgrading your smoke alarm system. All you heard was that he narrowly avoided a serious fire, and that it was all because he'd installed a smart smoke alarm called Google Nest Protect.
You go over to his place to find out more about it. Turns out he'd forgotten to switch off the stove and then stepped out to go to the beach. 20 minutes later he got an alert on his phone via the Nest app, telling him that his Nest Protect alarm had detected smoke in the kitchen. He dropped everything and raced home in time to diffuse the situation.
Although entry and exit trigger times are customizable (up to 4 minutes 15 seconds), we found that the response time was always consistent: In every one of our tests, the Cops Monitoring service called exactly 44 seconds after the alarm sounded. The service was always polite, and for security it requires a safe word to restore the peace. In November 2022, the company introduced Fast Protect alarm texts, which will send a text message when the alarm triggers, providing the option to cancel any false alarms with a text reply before you actually have to talk to someone. Fast Protect also includes Critical Alarm Notifications, an opt-in service that will bypass Do Not Disturb or muted smartphones in case of an emergency. We have not tested these new features yet.
The system performed well in our tests, both in self-monitoring mode and when connected to the monitoring service. Users can customize entry and exit delays up to four minutes. The system sends an instant push confirmation when in Away mode or when the alarm is triggered. When we tested the professional monitoring, we got service calls between 70 and 120 seconds after the alarm was triggered. The service rep was always polite and asked for a four-digit PIN to keep police from being dispatched. We were able to arm and disarm the Abode system using Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. For Alexa and Google Assistant, you need to speak a PIN, whereas HomeKit requires you to unlock your iPhone.
SimpliSafe has announced 24/7 Live Guard, a service which will work exclusively with its new Smart Alarm Wireless Indoor Security Camera. This battery-powered camera can distinguish between people and pets but also can be configured to directly alert a monitoring service. A service rep is then able to view alarms (which they can already do via Video Verification), and also communicate directly with the person who is being watched. A SimpliSafe base station and Interactive subscription are required to use both. The camera is expected to be available later this year; pricing for both the program and the camera is still yet to be confirmed.
The heart of the Arlo Security System is a Wi-Fi hub with an integrated, backlit keypad, a siren, a motion detector, and the ability to alert you when smoke and CO alarms are triggered. The $199 kit comes with the hub and two external all-in-one sensors, which connect back to the hub via wireless Arlo SecureLink technology, and can be placed throughout the house. (A starter kit with the hub and five sensors is $299.) The system can be self-monitored without a monthly fee, or with a live monitoring plan that costs $25 per month as of February 2023.
Looking for a way to make your home a whole lot smarter? Nest's products are a great way to do so. Nest may be best known for its Learning Thermostat, but it also makes some great smart security products, and for a limited time, a number of those smart security cameras are getting some pretty major discounts at Best Buy and Walmart.
On top of that, if you have one of the best smart displays, such as an Amazon Echo Show 10, you can also view the doorbell's feed on its screen. A handful of video doorbells work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit; others only work with one or two of these voice assistants.
In many ways, they operate like the best home security cameras, and smart doorbells are a different way of protecting your property. Yet, with a growth in popularity, the number of video doorbells has expanded, which means more options to choose from. For example, wired devices may require professional installation or battery-powered options that are more convenient but require regular recharging.
In our opinion, Arlo's first video doorbell is the best available on the market right now. If you already have other Arlo devices, it's a no-brainer; if not, it should still be top of the list of considerations.
To compare the best video doorbells, we review the quality of the footage they capture both during the day and at night. We also judge the sound quality of the video, as well as when conversing in real-time with someone on the doorstep.
They can answer the door when you are not in. By this we don't mean physically open the door, but you can engage in two-way talk to advise the mail man where to leave a parcel (for example). Most video doorbells also sync with other smart home devices such as security cameras and smart alarms, so long as they are by the same brand. You'll even find that you can connect each of the smart devices to your Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Homekit so you will have the ability to respond to activity outside or inside the home without having to lift a finger. Essentially, once you've got a video doorbell, you won't go back.
When a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is triggered, the Nest Protect will flash its built-in light, sound an alarm, and use voice alerts to let you know exactly what type of emergency it's detecting. It also sends alerts to your phone through the app.
On top of keeping your family safe, it comes with a few aggravation-saving features. Its app will tell you when the battery is low so you don't need to listen to a constant beeping noise until you change the batteries. You can also turn off false alarms with the app. No more using a broom handle to tap the button.
This Google smoke detector can connect with other Nest Protect alarms in your home to create a network of safety. This means voice alerts could tell you where smoke or fire was detected. This can keep you safe as you exit your home because you'll know which rooms to avoid.
The drawback is it's expensive for a fire alarm. Still, the benefits are worth the price, especially if you have a smaller home that doesn't need too many smoke detectors. If you're on a budget, it's better to opt for the next pick.
This lithium battery smoke detector has an expected lifespan of 10 years and you never need to swap the battery out until it's time to replace the detector anyway. The display changes color to tell you if there's something wrong too. Red means the alarm is going off, yellow means there's something wrong with the alarm, and green means everything is a-okay.
The 85-decibel siren could be louder, but we think it should do just fine if you place multiple alarms throughout your home. It can detect both fire and smoldering using its dual sensors, and it has a testing button that can also be used to mute the alarm.
If you or someone in your family experiences hearing loss or deafness, a wire-in strobe light can help. These devices connect with your existing smoke and fire alarms. When the smoke detector senses danger and sounds the alarm, the strobe light will flash to signal trouble.
The best smoke alarms can detect smoke particles, flames, and carbon monoxide. A multifunctional alarm can save you battery life or energy from your house for hard-wired smoke detectors. Combination smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors are easier than ever to find.
While classic ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors are helpful, smart smoke detectors are the cutting edge in fire safety. They communicate through apps and deliver alerts to your phone or other mobile devices if an alarm sounds.
Photoelectric smoke alarm sensors use light to detect smoke. When smoke particles are suspended in the air (as with a smoldering fire) the particles scatter the beam of light in the sensory chamber, which sets off the alarm.
Ionization smoke detectors use radiation and an ionization chamber to detect smoke. The ionizing radiation helps detect small amounts of smoke in the air, as with a flaming fire. When smoke enters the sensor chamber, the current of the ionizing radiation is disrupted, which triggers the alarm.
Check batteries: According to a 2021 report, dead batteries are a major factor in smoke alarm failures. In fact, the death rate from a home fire is 55% lower in homes with working smoke alarms.2
Arm every level: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends putting a smoke detector on every level of your home: in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and in your basement. On floors without bedrooms, install alarms in the living area or near stairways.
Keep it clean: Dirt and debris interfere with the sensors on your smoke alarm. Dusty buildup can lead to false alarms or delayed detection during an emergency. Whether you have a photoelectric alarm or an ionization detector, regular cleaning will keep your smoke alarm in working order. 781b155fdc