Need a new Smoke/CM detector, advice/opinions?


(John) #1

Hey all,

My ‘dumb’ Smoke and CM detector kicked the bucket and I’ve been stupid in not replacing it while I weigh my options. Considering I can’t come to a decision on my own, I was hoping for input. I’ve worked with the Halo detector at a relatives house and it seemed to be the best I’ve come across. However, I know it’s wired only. I appear to only have one ‘current’ wired detector. I’m not opposed to running lines to have more and make them interconnected however it’s something that I need to weigh my decision with.

In your opinion, has transitioning to a smart smoke detector had any benefits/worth it? I’m at a crossroads between going smart versus just buying another ‘dumb’ one. Either way, I want to get one asap as I’m not sleeping well at night knowing my ‘main’ detector in the bedroom hallway is MIA.

Thoughts?


(Mark) #2

I have a halo and I like it. It can work on its own via WiFi, or paired with ST via Zigbee (but not both simultaneously).

I also have two battery-powered ZCombo smoke/CO detectors paired to my ST hub. These are z-wave devices. I replaced one of them when it falsely detected smoke on two separate occasions. Could have been something simple like dust or something, but I didn’t want to take any chances so I bought another one.

Then there’s Leeo, which isn’t a smoke/CO detector at all. It’s a small device that plugs into an outlet and listens for the pattern of a smoke or CO alarm going off (the pattern of beeps is standardized in the US), then you get an alert from their app, which includes a recording of what it heard, and the same thing with a phone call. It doesn’t integrate directly with SmartThings but they have an IFTTT channel so it’s acrually possible to integrate indirectly.

And lastly, I have one dumb wired smoke detector with a relay that connects to the interconnect wire; the relay has outputs that can be wired to some z-wave contact sensors. So if the detector goes off, the contact sensor closes and you can get an alert in ST. Both kidde and first alert (BRK) make a version of this relay device for use with their detectors.

There are a few threads that discuss how to do this in more detail. This is a relatively recent one, with a nice step-by-step write up.

I have all of these setup because with remote monitoring for smoke/CO, I think it’s important to minimize both false alarms and failure to detect smoke/CO. With several redundancies, I’m less worried that a single failure point will mess everything up.

These are all good options. The bottom line is, pick something and install it. As you’ve already pointed out, you are at risk because there’s currently no smoke/CO detector installed next to your bedroom.


(Kirk Hilzinger) #3

Nest was top rated in this area, which is why I bought 2. But, it does not directly integrate with ST but the Nest Manager app works great.


(Eric) #4

the main reason I got a “smart” smoke detector is easy battery monitoring. I don’t have line-powered detectors. There is an added benefit of remote notification to the phone app.

I use the cheap FirstAlert? Zcombo’s, next to some other detectors standalone and some on a security system.


(Nathan Curtis) #5

I currently have FirstAlert ZCombos. But if Iwere to do it over I would do Halos instead… BTW anyone want two ZCombos new in box? :slight_smile: DM me with an offer.


(Spike) #6

i went with halos bc they looked neat and i didnt want to get into the nest infrastructure. i am currently running them wifi direct w/ the halo ios app. thinking about putting them into my zigbee ST hive.
sorta amused you can put the halos into “party mode” and have them glow different colors.


(Glen King) #7

Gotta ask: why? Do the FirstAlert units fail to detect fire/smoke and carbon monoxide??
Do the detectors not integrate into ST??

What makes the Halo units superior to the FirstAert detectors, in your opinion?

I ask because I have the First Alert unit… and if there’s something that does not function properly, I need to know.

In answer to the OP: battery monitoring and remote monitoring capabilities make it very worthwhile to go with a smart detector, and they are not expensive at all.


(Nathan Curtis) #8

Because National fire code requires hardwired smokes with battery backup that are interconnected in such a way that can cause cross structure alerting. (Basically on house current, battery backed and one alert sets them all off) If you are n a municipality that uses it as a base for building code and follow it closely, they can fail a residential occupancy inspection if you dont have it.

The FA ZSmoke works great as a zwave connected smoke/CO detector - but it’s only battery powered (not hardwired) and cannot cross alert. (I could simulate it with WebCore if they allowed off-device triggering, and they don’t)

I also believe some smoke detection is better than no smoke detection. My existing smokes were > 10 years old (yes they do need to be replaced occasionally) and I just simply couldn’t fit the Halos in my budget at the time and the FA smokes were on sale sooo.

I mean am I worried? no - it’s not that big of a house and you can hear the damn things all the way across the house. But I’m certain an alert in one of the back bedrooms would not wake me in the master. If I were selling tomorrow, I’d make it a higher priority so I’d pass inspection. Some inspectors will overlook battery powered smokes - Most won’t. (Said the ex-firefighter)

I have the Zsmokes now in strategic places. Decided not to install all of them and am currently budgeting to replace them all with Halos. THAT’S going to be a fun conversation with the wife.


(Glen King) #9

Ahhh, got it. My primary smoke detector is hardwired with battery backup. The FA unit is near the kitchen as a supplementary, and is where any CO would originate as the basement door is also right there.

Code requires hardwired smoke detectors, but only for new builds and renovations; it does not require that every smoke detector be hardwired, and does not require you chop your walls/ceilings to install hardwired detectors if there was no other work being done. That said, in a few months we are re-doing the kitchen - and I will certainly take that opportunity to install a hardwired smoke/CO detector.


(Nathan Curtis) #10

Yep Exactly. Considering I already have the wiring in the walls, I’d have a hard time justifying it with an inspector. :slight_smile:


(Pizzinini) #11

Sorry, I don’t have a recommendation on wireless smoke detectors besides the recommendation to get them over non-connected ones. I do recommend you also connect your wired alarms though. This is great because it allows you to do some additional safety automatons e.g. turn off heating, open locks, turn on lights, remote notifications, when smoke is detected.

Here is an example: