Although old-fashioned smoke detectors have functioned as a wine warning system for decades, they can be somewhat annoying with the potential for false alarms and low-battery chirping. The addition of smart smoke alarms to your home can add to your safety and peace of mind (by sending you a remote notification if something goes wrong). It all comes gown, however, to choosing the right device for your home and your needs.
The similarities between the following smart smoke alarms all revolve around one primary function – if the detector sounds, you will receive a push notification on your phone, whether you’re at home or away. How the devices do this, other functions they perform, how much they cost, and how many you can cover with a single device will vary widely. There are three main device categories; we have taken a closer look at them below:
• Smart Detectors
The most obvious way to add some smarts to your device is to replace it entirely with a version that connects to the internet. A number of manufacturers are currently offering such alarms with more set to enter the market soon. Expect to pay $100 or more per device you want to swap, but keep in mind that you’ll also receive conveniences like bring able to silence false alarms and notifications when batteries are low.
Most of the devices on the market use photoelectric sensors (which are more expensive than traditional ionised ones). The function of the more expensive sensor does, however, help to justify its cost – they are less prone to false alarms than their ionised counterparts.
Plug one of these devices into your wall and it will listen for the specific frequency of a smoke detector’s alarm, sending you an alert when it hears something. Since these sorts of devices don’t talk directly to the detectors, they won’t be any help in mitigating some of the common annoyances. You will start to see cost advantages if you have a large home and are interested in complete connected coverage.
Most of the devices on the market are able to cover a single floor without much difficulty, but if you have a large and sprawling house you might want to consider multiple units per floor. Some even come with a night light function, which is a handy bonus.
• Smart Batteries
These devices are relatively new to the market so there aren’t as many options available yet. They look and act like a 9V, connect to your WiFi network and sit inside your smoke detector (just like any other battery). How it differs to normal batteries is that you will receive a notification when the alarm sounds and when the battery starts to run low. If the detector only runs on battery power, you’ll also be able to silence it.
As with any other category in the smart home, it is recommended that you start small with smoke alarms and work your way up once you’ve found a device you like. Think about the size of your home when picking a device category for smart detection. Having a plan in place can help you to smoothly expand from a single device once you’ve determined that it’s right for you, even if multiple units are required to provide you with whole home coverage.
We hope that the information provided above has given you a much better idea of how to choose the best smoke detector installation for your home and needs. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that there is actually more than one type of device category, which provides ample possibilities for monitoring the home. If you have any questions or concerns, ensure that you speak with your electrician to determine what they would recommend.
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