First Alert ZCOMBO... WHY?

Can someone explain to me the point of this Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm being Z-wave enabled? Other than to notify me when I’m not at home (which any WYZE and other cameras can do easily), I don’t see the point… it doesn’t even have the ability to test or reset it without having to climb up to the ceiling and doing everything manually. What am I missing? TIA

If you have other devices in your home which are operating with your smartthings account, you can coordinate them when the smoke alarm goes off. So, for example, you could have the doors unlock, the lights come on, a blinking light to act as a notification for someone who is hard of hearing, your sprinklers come on, etc.

There are other ways to do the same thing, particularly if you live in the United States and have an Amazon echo device, but that’s the primary use case. :sunglasses:

All of that said, it’s not the device I chose for my own home because I did want to be able to silence a false alarm from the app.


What did you end up getting to get that ability?

I use Nest Protects. They were expensive, but the best option at the time.

If I were buying new today, I would also look at the onelink system, which can be silenced from the app and has HomeKit integration. But I haven’t looked at it in detail since I haven’t needed to.

Neither of those work with smartthings, however. But you could use an acoustic listener to hear when they went off and get pretty much the same integration. The echo guard feature can do this or you can buy the ecolink Zigbee device and use it directly with smartthings.

I forgot to mention that our household is three people who come and go at odd hours, and we also really like the nightlight feature on the nest protects which comes on as you walk underneath it. We have it set quite dim, but it’s worked really well for us. :last_quarter_moon_with_face:

OK, I have a stupid idea. Slap a SwitchBot button pusher on the ZCOMBO. I already have their mini hub to control my IR devices… (thank you for the tip, BTW). That would be an over-engineered fun :slight_smile:

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That makes sense, except the other thing is that the Z combos are not linked and you would need one for each smoke alarm.

One of the things I really like about the nest protects is that they announce which room has the fire. But you clear them all with one tap in the app.


I went with these once I got started smart-ifying the house. The reasons being I prefer Z-Wave over WiFi where I can get it, and these are supported in ST. So, I can see the status on the phone app, and it will send an alert when one of the detectors goes off. I also have it set up that the smart light switches in the house turn the lights on when a detector goes off. In an impromptu test a while ago (killed dinner on the stove…SMH), everything worked as intended–lights turned on, alerts hit the phones.

I would have preferred something more like the Nest, but no ST support and being WiFi were deal breakers for me.


I am going to give a somewhat jokey answer, but are we so jaded as to not be amazed that we can be notified of a fire when we are not at home?

Years ago there was a fire at the apartment building I was living at and had no idea there was a fire until I returned to the apartment. I got back to the apartment hours after the fire had been put out by the fire department.

As far as the ability to remotely turn off and other features, how often do you have fires that you need remote off?

The zcombos do have their issues like unreliable battery reporting and using up batteries.

The battery issue is a big complaint. Have to walk around once a month to test batteries on the zcombos.

It seems like to get a good balance of function versus cost, one nest to be installed around kitchen maybe for accuracy and the rest of the house use zcombos for cost?

Not only are smart smoke detectors way more expensive than non-smart smoke detectors, they lag in longevity I think.

I think newer dumb smoke detectors are supposed to work with their one battery for ten years.

Zcombos I think are rated less than 10 years, (5 or 7?) and batteries need replacing once a year.

I miss the Halo devices to be honest. They’re 10 year, built-in battery, zigbee repeaters, multi color LED ring, AC powered with interconnected to ANY other interconnected detector, room announcements, and more stuff too. I have 11 and I wish I had more.


I agree with everything you’ve said. I was on a “replace everything with a z-wave or Zigbee” kick, but looking at this device, I don’t see the point. With poor battery life, we have to test more frequently and we can’t even do that through the app. To me, that’s the biggest disappointment.

I just picked one up from eBay. Will check it out. Thanks!

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