What you should know about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Like everything else in our technological world, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are getting smarter and better.

In my opinion, the best protection for you and your family, as well as your home is a new top-of-the-line combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector system.

There are two types of smoke detection technology: one type is better at detecting slow smoldering conditions, and the other one is best at detecting actual fires.  State-of-the-art smoke detectors include both types in 1 unit.  Now, take this 1 step further and include a carbon monoxide detector in the same unit.  (Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, is odorless, and can be deadly, so it is extremely important.)

Take that same unit and add some smart features.  A system that I personally have direct experience with is Google’s Nest Protect.  It’s an excellent high quality product!  But there are other systems on the market today with similar functionality.

  • They can speak clearly in plain language and warn you as to what the nature of the problem is and where it is.
  • They test themselves on a periodic basis and warn you clearly in plain language before their self-test.
  • The units are interconnected so that if one unit detects a problem all the units tell you about the problem.
  • These units are Wi-Fi connected and periodically report to your phone or other device as to what has been happening with the system over the last 30 days (for example).
  • Get fast alerts on your phone or device when the system detects a problem.
  • When you approach one of the detectors at night the unit automatically illuminates your pathway.
  • You can “hush” the alarm with your phone.
  • You can test the system with your phone

They can be hardwired to your home’s electrical system or you can purchase them with a lithium battery that lasts at least 10 years.  (Meets New York State laws)

Of course, the system can be monitored by a central station monitoring company.

It is recommended that these units be installed on the ceiling, one unit in each bedroom, and 1 outside of the sleeping area (in the hallway), at least one detector on each level including the basement.

Nest protect detectors are over $100 each.  I personally feel that they are the best.  There are many manufacturers that are substantially cheaper and have lots of excellent features so shop around.

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