Smoke detector errors?

i attached a couple of wireless first alerts, and all went well. monitors fine and says clear. i took the batteries out of one of them and nothing changed … still says clear and 99% battery???

You took the battery out. How was the now dead First-Alert supposed to tell SmartThings it was dead?

(Trick question). The behavior you describe is the same for nearly all Devices. SmartThings is implementing a universal Device Health Check of some sort, but not fully implemented or deployed yet.

In the meantime, there are some SmartApps…


As @tgauchat mentioned, at the present time SmartThings reports the last known status of the device. If the device goes off-line or off power or breaks all together, SmartThings just keeps reporting the last good status.

There are community created smart apps that can do a “wellness check” and alert you if a device hasn’t reported for a while. “Simple device Viewer” is probably the most popular, but there are some others with slightly different features. Just check the quick browse list in the community – created wiki for wellness check.

Smartthings is in the process of adding something similar to the official features, but that work isn’t done yet.

Well then how in the world can you trust what it says, when the hub doesn’t tell you when it has no connection to a sensor?

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That’s why SmartThings is working on new Feature(s) to fix this shortcoming.

(And why this Community is so great – volunteers have written and shared SmartApp(s) for this issue too!).

Are you getting any chirping noise from the smoke detector even after the battery has been changed? If the smoke detector has some errors then you can reset the processor so that the errors would be solved immediately. I would like to suggest you a blog which I found online and I hope that you would find it useful.

not so far, but good to know

You’ve inadvertently arrived at the same conclusion that many people who have used ST for longer concluded as well: ST should not be relied upon for real life safety/health protection issues. It’s just fundamentally not reliable enough.

@tgauchat has pointed out in other threads that the ST terms of service explicitly say that.

Unfortunately, the ST marketing department would have us believe otherwise.

well how hard can it be for the hub to realize that some sensor has stopped talking to it?

“How hard can it be…” can be asked about half or more of the feature (or bug fix) requests of SmartThings or any product.

If it was truly trivial, then every product would be “perfect” immediately when it hits the market.

In a mesh network, it’s actually fairly difficult, and not what these devices are designed for.

The intent of a mesh network is to use as little messaging as possible, in order to use as little energy as possible. The hub is not supposed to care if your device disappears for a while, so that if the device, say, is off-line having its batteries changed, the other devices just route around it.

It’s a very different topology than, say, a Wi-Fi network where every device is continuously connected to the central hub.

It is possible to track when the last activity occurred on a device, and notify a person after a given threshold, which is exactly what the wellness check community created smartapps do.

It is somewhat surprising that SmartThings has not yet provided an official feature to do this, but the community-created ones work just fine. Look for the “wellness check” list.

But if you really want constant monitoring of every device on your system, you’re better off going with a Wi-Fi system. It will cost you significantly more in energy use, but that’s the trade-off.