BRK First Alert Hard-wired Z-wave Smoke Detectors... (CANCELED)

Just sharing for the community’s interest:

Bottom line: BRK First Alert Hard-wired Z-wave Smoke Detectors are reportedly in the works, finally. They were due out this summer, but… COVID. They hope to have them by Summer 2021.

I wrote to BRK/First Alert a few weeks back the following:

I’ve been waiting for 6 years after upgrading our home’s detectors to BRK FA hardwired detectors for your company to come out with an option to have a ZWave enabled (smart home) detector that can be HARDWIRED into my current system. You still do not have one!

So many have been troubled by this problem of making your otherwise good, hardwired detectors integrated into their smart homes. Some use a BRK relay and do some fancy electrical work with other Z Wave devices to jury rig an option together, like this:

Others buy a Z Wave device that listens for a smoke alarm, like this:

Why must we go to such great lengths? We want our homes to be smart, using ZWave. We also want the best detectors by you, BRK. So make us BRK detectors that are hardwired (with interconnect) and signal their alerts to ZWave hubs! I’ve waited 6 years. How is this still not a thing? Please get it together.

I laugh out loud at my final sentences on that original email. :slight_smile:

I just received this reply from the company:

Hello Derek,

I do apologize for taking so long to get back with you. Thank you for contacting First Alert support. I will be happy to assist you with your detector question. First Alert is aware of the need for hardwired Zcombo alarms, and I know we are working on that technology. We were due to come out with new technology in May 2020, but that has been postponed until June 21st 2021. If we do come out with this technology, it will be highlighted on our website at that time. We do listen to our customers, and we are always improving.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please respond to this email, or call the number below.

Have a Good Day!


First Alert Customer Service

Fingers crossed! :crossed_fingers:


Very cool. I hope that they’ll be able to interlink with standard hardwired detectors so I only need one for the house…also that they’re going to offer sealed 10-year backup batteries as required here. It looks like the existing zcombo includes a silence feature, hopefully that means I can yell at my smart speaker when the oven trips a nuisance alarm.

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Oh yeah, that’d be cool. I want to be able to yell “Shut up!” at the detector and watch it turn off. haha

I just emailed them for this exact info, then found this thread. I hope it becomes a reality.

I am currently furious with Samsung SmartThings because I have 4 Halo smoke/CO detectors. When the new app came out it nullified two features in the UI; HUSH and TEST. Basically the 2 functions you would want in a “smart” connected detector. Customer support was useless and told me ask the developers in this forum to help me; unfortunately no one has so far.

And to illustrate why this simple function is so helpful.
I recently had one go off erroneously in my house. I checked my indoor cameras and saw no fire (it was a fume that set it off I found out later). I wanted to silence the damn thing and could not. Then my neighbor starts calling me about the alarm going off. I eventually let him (I trust him) and he silenced the alarm for me.

I was thinking of using these things in a vacation home, but without the capability to actually control it remotely, it’s useless. And now the the HALO company is defunct anyway, so I had to find an alternative. At least First Alert is a well-known company with a long history, so if they actually make this product it will be awesome.

I also cannot believe how Samsung upgrades the backend on the SmartThings software and simply nullifies the usability of previous devices. It’s like a big FU to so many of it’s users who have invested heavily in this platform.

They told me it was a custom DTH so they don’t have to support it. Except that DTH was made but the HALO company and it was approved for use by Samsung when the Classic app was still in use. So now they make a new app and simply say, no longer supported?!

I’m not impressed with how Samsung is handling ST overall. I’m hopeful and invested, but they don’t seem to be innovating.

Looks like they still haven’t released anything?


Tagging to follow… I need hardwired Smoke (and Smoke+CO) alarms, and would love them to be Z-Wave enabled.

I just emailed them. I’ll report back. Head’s up: it took over a month for them to reply last time…

Yeah, still waiting. One of my Halo’s started beeping for no reason. Had to reset it. It stopped beeping but now I can’t add it back to the SmartThings network (Zigbee) because it’s a device without a supported handler.

Hello All, here’s BRK’s reply:

Thank you for contacting First Alert support. I will be happy to assist you with your detector question. I was the person who advised you last year that we are aware of the need for hardwired Zcombo units and that we were expecting new technology June 21st 2021, but I am sorry to say that it was postponed again to June 30th 2022.

We have submitted alarms to Underwriter Labs for testing/approval, but will not know now until next year what will be available. I get a lot of customers asking for this, so I have to believe we are still working on this new technology since we do strive to improve. We are still working under pandemic restrictions that I believe have postponed this advancement twice now. I really do apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you.

Someone remind me by pinging this thread in about a year if we haven’t seen 'em come to market and I’ll check back with 'em again.



I just updated the thread title to “…2022…”

Following. Sucks that it might be 2022. I have been waiting for these or another brand to implement Z-wave hardwired smoke/co2 detectors forever.

Yeah, me too. These companies are old and entrenched: aka slow to innovate. By the time they offer Zwave, we’ll be clamoring for the Matter protocol.

Thank you for contacting First Alert and your interest in our products. From our product line, we only offer battery-operated detectors that use zwave. The models are ZSMOKE and ZCOMBO. At this time, First Alert has not released a plan to launch hardwired zwave detectors. Keep a lookout on our website for any new releases.

However, if you are interested in having detectors that allow notification to your smart device, we offer alternative smart detectors. We have Onelink Smart smoke and CO alarms. Model 1042135 runs on AC power and will fit well with the hardwired design throughout your house. You would no longer need a z-wave network as it communicates through an app using wi-fi. You may follow the link to read more about it:

We hope this information is helpful. have a wonderful day!

Bottom line:
They aren’t making one.

I contacted SmartThings and they have no developers they are working with either.

I’m moving on. Nest makes hardwired smoke/CO alarms. Sadly most Nest hardware can integrate with SmartThings… except the smoke alarms!!

So I’ll have to rely on Google Home for this part of my smart home setup.

You may already be aware of this, but there are some Z wave acoustic sensors which listen specifically for the US smoke detector pattern and you can integrate those with smartthings. So you can get any hardwired smoke detectors you like, and then add one of these. (You should only need one for the whole house.)

These have an integration with smartthings, but they can be a bit hard to find in the app. It’s easiest to search by brand.

This device itself is battery operated, though, with a 5 year battery, so not everyone will want it. But given the overall reliability issues with smartthings, you shouldn’t be depending on it for essential use cases anyway. As a convenience notification, it will work for some people.

As I said, you may already be aware of that, but I did just want to mention it.

I find your suggestions and references extremely useful so just want to say thank you!!
I’m looking for a way to get a notification when away from home if smoke/CO alarms go off. I’m looking at the ecolink you posted above but my solution doesn’t necessarily have to be integrated into ST. Any other suggestions before I buy the ecolink?

There are several brands that offer acoustic listeners of this type for the US. For example, even an Amazon echo device can do this through their “guard“ feature. You receive a notification on your phone through the alexa app. :sunglasses:

But the ecolink is the one with the best smartthings integration.

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I’ve been waiting for this too. Hardwired, battery backed (to match my wiring), plus, if I understand correctly, Z-wave devices that have external power can also act to create a Z-wave mesh network which would send strong coverage to each corner of my house? Naturally I would like the battery backup to hold the mesh when main power goes out, but maybe that is too much to ask?

It’s up to each individual manufacturer whether they choose to make any individual Z wave device a repeater or not.

It would be very unlikely for a manufacturer to design a hardwired smoke detector which also acted as a Z wave repeater because you don’t want the smoke alarm to be delayed even by a few seconds while it’s busy repeating a message from a light switch somewhere. So it’s a question of priorities. For this reason, a smoke detector is usually given as the example in Z wave documentation of a hardwired device that might not act as a repeater.

Here’s an example of a European zwave smoke detector which is mains powered with a battery back up and does not act as a repeater:

I would expect that to be the standard design in all regions. And even more true if Mains power is out and it’s acting on battery back up: I don’t want to use up the battery repeating for other devices.

An Alternative from Ring

In the US, the ring security system does have a $25 Z wave device which is designed specifically to give you 24 hours of zwave repeating when the power is out. That’s so the security sensors on the alarm system can continue to reach the hub. It’s a plug-in device so it’s normally operating on Mains power, but it has a built-in battery back up, and it does continue to repeat when in back up power mode.

It’s good that you’re thinking about how the Z wave mesh will operate in an emergency situation when the power is out; that’s a critical factor that many people overlook in DIY set ups. But the ring range extender is likely the device you’d be looking at for this use case. (The product description will say you need the ring base station, but you don’t: it will also work with a smartthings hub.)

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Any updated information on this topic? I went out searching for hard wired zwave detectors simply to create a larger mesh and have been led here… Absolutely mind boggling how this isn’t available yet.