Smoke detectors are a necessary part of any home. They provide peace of mind throughout the night — and all day long — and can help save you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency. For many years, we've dealt with the high-pitched beeps emitted by most fire detectors. But with modern smart fire alarms, like the Nest Protect (2nd Gen), you can swap out those piercing noises for voice alerts and smartphone notifications. We've compiled a list of the best smart smoke detectors so you can see which one works for you.
Best Overall: Nest Protect (2nd Gen)
Nest Protect (2nd Gen)
A super convenient smart smoke detector
This beautiful-looking smoke detector sends messages to your smartphone. It also has a color-changing ring of light and gives verbal notices when there's a problem instead of emitting shrill chirping noises. If you have multiple Nest devices set up in your home and one of them detects danger, it will alert you to a specific location by saying things like, "There's smoke in the living room." It will also send a similar message to your smartphone in case you're away. You'll always know exactly where the problem is coming from.
In addition to detecting smoke and carbon monoxide, it also has a Split-Spectrum Sensor that senses fast and slow-burning fires, so it will be able to pick up several different dangers. The Nest Protect works with other smart home devices including Hue, Nest, and Wink. For instance, you can program it so the alarm turns on your home's smart lights in the event of a fire, thereby making it easier to evacuate safely. You can also use the app to turn the alarm off instead of getting up on a chair and attempting to push any buttons.
This detector comes in either a wired or battery-powered version so you can choose the option you like best. Should the battery get low, the device will send a message to your phone instead of chirping the night away. A super helpful addition is the detector's motion-detecting path light, which gives off a very gentle glow to light the way when you walk beneath it in the dark. This is a relatively expensive fire alarm, which makes it a little harder to purchase one for your entire home. However, the convenience and safety it provides make it well worth the cost.
Best Complement to A Detector: EcoLink Zigbee Siren Audio Detector
Ecolink Zigbee Siren Audio Detector
Perfect complement to a smoke detector
This smart device isn't a smoke detector itself, but rather works with one. It listens from a siren tone from a UL listed smoke detector and sends the signal to a Zigbee Hub. It works with Alexa and Samsung SmartThings Hub as well.
Also known as a link Firefighter Wireless Audio Detector, it listens for warnings from a smoke, fire, or alarm and alerts the hub which can, in turn, alert you so you can get out of the house and contact emergency services.
With a four-year battery life using the included CR123A batteries, it is certified to work with most ZigBee-enabled hubs. The multi-color LED changes based on the state of the device.
Best for Basics: Kidde Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Kidde Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Basic smoke detection
A super affordable and simple option, this battery-operated device is both a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The smarts come in thanks to voice warnings that will advise when either is detected. It audibly notes exactly what hazard it detects so you can take action, including getting out of the house and calling emergency services. For example, it will yell "Fire!" if a smoke or fire hazard is detected or say "Warning, Carbon Monoxide!" when it detects CO2.
Easy to install, and taking the place of two devices, the audio alarm blares at 85 dB at up to 10 feet to ensure you can hear it, even if you're fast asleep in the middle of the night. You can activate the Hush feature to temporarily silence the alarm if you just burned something on the stove and you've tended to the issue already. There's a test/reset button and LEDs. It flashes green for normal and red if there's an issue like the batteries are low. It can operate in extreme humidity, from 10 up to 95 percent and in temperatures from 40 degrees Fahrenheit up to 100.
Since it runs on traditional batteries (three AAAs, included), the detector will continue working, even if there's a power outage.
Best for Alexa Fans: First Alert OneLink Safe & Sound
First Alert OneLink Safe & Sound
An Alexa-enabled smoke detector
The first thing you'll notice about this fire detector is that it has Alexa built directly into it. This means you can use the built-in 10-watt speaker to take advantage of hundreds of skills, including listening to music, hearing the news, or checking the weather. The other thing you'll quickly notice is that it's far more expensive than other options on the market. When you add an Alexa to any device that's bound to happen, but you get plenty more convenience out of it that way.
Like some other smart sensors on this list, this one sends smartphone notifications and lets you know what the issue is as well as where in your home the problem is coming from. It'll also give voice alerts and features a color-changing ring to provide you with visual cues if it detects smoke, carbon monoxide, or a low battery. Note that this smoke alarm does require a hardwired connection, which takes more work to install and might not provide the most convenient placement for your Alexa unit.
Something interesting about this device is that it can connect with other brands of smoke detectors that are hardwired into your home. This means it can communicate with other fire alarms, so you don't have to purchase one of these for every room in your house. Just get it for the places that you are most likely to take advantage of Alexa's skills.
Best for Ring Users: Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener
Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener
If you've already bought into the Ring smart home ecosystem, and especially if you use Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa smart voice assistant, these detectors from Ring are a great addition to your home. They're very affordable at around $35 per device, and they serve as an accompaniment to your existing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
All you have to do is place one of these near your existing smoke or CO alarms, and it will notify you via text and/or email if/when it hears your detectors go off. It is worth noting that these require the Ring Alarm Security Kit to function, but you do not have to enroll in a Ring Protect subscription plan to use them.
Best for Whole Home: X-Sense Smoke Alarm
X-Sense Smoke Alarm
One for every floor
Boasting a more than 820-foot transmission range, this smoke alarm is ideal if you want to add a number of them throughout a large home. They interconnect and speak to one another wirelessly, so you can hear the alarm, no matter if you're in the basement working out with the music blaring or having a shower upstairs. An intelligent locating function also helps you find the source of the fire so you can determine the best path to get out of the house as quickly and safely as possible.
The relay function will extend the transmission range, and you can connect up to 24 smoke alarms for a while home - or office or building - network. It not only works on different floors of a home or building, but even in places like the garage.
It's easy to install on any ceiling or wall without any hard-wiring required and runs off replaceable batteries. Just press the test/silence button to connect them all wirelessly and if you buy a multi-pack with three or six units, they are already connected. The lithium-ion battery (included) will last for up to five years and you'll see a low-battery warning when it's time to change.
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Smart smoke detectors are a worthwhile addition to any smart home set-up, and there are several different smart smoke detectors on the market from which to choose. Many of these devices tend to be expensive, so you'll want to consider whether the conveniences offered by the smart detector makes the purchase worth it - especially if you decide based on the size of or floors in your home that you'll need more than one.
To go truly smart, you'll want something that can send you smartphone notifications. There are also simpler smoke detectors that are smart in that they either provide voice notifications or even just can communicate with one another wirelessly. Still, I highly advocate getting something that also features a visual cue and can be turned off remotely via an app.
My highest recommendation when it comes to the best smart smoke detectors is for the Nest Protect (2nd Gen), which gives vocal alerts, has a ring that changes color, and sends phone notifications should it detect a problem. It will even tell you what the problem is and what room to find it in. It also works with several home automation services and devices, so you can link it to say your smart lights and have them turn on if a fire is detected.
Rebecca Spear loves keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest electronics. She is a life-long gamer and a writer who has written hundreds of online articles over the past four years. On any given day you'll find her drawing with her Wacom tablet, playing video games, or reading a good book.
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
Christine Persaud has a long-held passion for tech and is an avid cook and baker. When she's not typing furiously away on her keyboard, she's likely in the kitchen cooking up a storm, relaxing with a glass of wine and binging a new TV show, or hanging with her 9-year-old son.
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Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.