A fire can break out while you are sleeping and you won’t even notice it until it’s too late. This is why it’s better to equip your house with a smoke detector. This way, you can be alerted as soon as there is smoke in the air and you can take action to extinguish the fire or evacuate the premises. But how do you find a quality smoke detector?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve tested 16 models and compiled a list of the 7 best smoke detectors, with the First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Wireless Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm being our favorite. We’ve included photoelectric devices for early detection of larger smoke particles, as well as ionization alarms that are better at detecting smaller fast-burning particles. Some models on the list are equipped with the CO2 detection feature to warn you of the release of deadly gas.
Extra features: connects with other Z-Wave compatible alarms and Z-Wave Hub; features a test/silence button; wireless alarm system sends mobile alerts & emails
Here we have the First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Wireless Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm which we’ve voted our Editor’s choice. It’s battery-operated and this type is generally less expensive & easier to install.
Not only does the device detect smoke, but carbon dioxide as well which is equally hazardous to you and your family’s health.
You’ll appreciate how this Z-wave smoke detector is compatible with other alarms and hubs from the same brand. But note that you’ll have to purchase these additional alarms separately.
You’ll receive alarm activation mobile alerts keeping you aware of any potential danger in your home even if you’re away. This is thanks to the integrated wireless alarm system which is Iris compatible.
The device features photoelectric sensing technology which is designed to detect large smoke particles that are produced by smoldering fires. This same sensor can differentiate between real smoke danger and harmless cooking or shower steam thereby minimizing false alarms.
This unit comes complete with a silence button and side access battery door for easy installation. The manufacturer also included a tamper resistant battery drawer and pins to keep the unit securely in place.
Unfortunately the battery doesn’t have a long operational life. It tends to start chirping after about a year. Also, with time you’ll start getting frequent false alarms when the battery starts wearing out. But you can always replace it with a new one to cancel out that problem.
Extra features: Alexa-enabled; connects to other hardwired alarms; sends mobile notifications; 3-year warranty
Like the model reviewed above, this First Alert Safe & Sound smoke detector is also designed to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. This great unit is Alexa-enabled so you enjoy the smart features offered by Alexa including controlling your other smart home devices. This detector is hard-wired and features a state-of-the-art omni-directional speaker for enhanced sound.
The mobile controls are pretty effective and reliable; you’ll receive remote notifications of any emergency in your home 24/7.
You don’t have to worry about false emergency beeps associated with a low or fault battery. This smoke detector is designed to track battery levels in the app so you’re always aware when they need replacing.
Another impressive functionality found on this device is that it features voice location technology which announces the exact type and location of the danger in your home.
Thanks to the optical ceiling placement functionality, the acoustic quality of the device is enhanced.
Being a hardwired device, setup may take slightly longer but the manufacturer included AC adapter plugs to replace existing hardware alarms without the need for rewiring. This makes installation a little easier.
You’ll appreciate how this model can connect with other hardwired alarms in your home which isn’t common with other smart smoke detector systems.
A few users have noted that the night light may turn on by itself. If this happens feel free to contact the customer service department for assistance on the matter.
Extra features: talking alarm notifies of the type of hazard detected; available in a multi-pack of up to 6 detectors; can be connected to other alarms
This model from Kidde is another great smart smoke detector, and it can interconnect up to 24 kiddie devices.
Though it’s a hardwire system, you’ll appreciate that it comes with two back-up batteries. You’re still guaranteed smoke detection even in power outage situations. Batteries can be replaced without disconnecting the unit from its mounting bracket.
No one will steal or tamper with your smoke detector system because it features an Alarm-Tamper Resist functionality.
Thanks to the adjustable mounting brackets, you’ll find installation of this unit quick and easy. It’s generally a versatile device that works well with existing smoke, combination smoke and CO mounting brackets.
Another of its unique features includes the Peak Level Memory Announces designed to detect carbon monoxide levels. This feature helps prevent the smoke detector from sounding off accidental alarms.
The kiddies smoke detector features Ionization sensor technology which detects fast flames and other types of fires. You’ll need this to know the severity of the fire outbreak to take the relevant precautions.
The unit shows a green LED light if it’s using AC power. When using battery power, the light flashes every 60 seconds.
If there’s a dangerous level of smoke or carbon monoxide, the light will flash red and sound every 30 seconds. The alarm also gives voice indications of the hazard type and where the fire is located.
Some users have expressed concerns regarding durability of the unit. In addition, after some time the unit will have low battery issues. When this happens, at least you can rely on the AC power.
Kidde is a trusted premium brand when it comes to fire safety products. The company now makes these 10-year smoke alarms that need no annual battery replacement, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our review of the Kidde smoke detector with voice alert functions went better than we expected.
For starters, there is nothing annoying about this smoke detector. It has no “low battery” chirps, at least, not until its ten-year battery life expires. In the dreaded moment when it actually detects a fire, however, we found it to have a very loud, sleep-shattering “Fire” voice alarm. Perfect for the bedroom in every way. It also has a loud 85dB horn to make the pot sweeter.
This unit has no carbon monoxide detector, though. Thus, it is best used in bedrooms and in conjuction with other detectors. Given how easy it is to install and how cheap it is, that wasn’t a problem for us and shouldn’t be for anyone either.
By picking this model, you’ll get not one, but three smoke detectors. So consider this brand if you want value for your money and ensure your entire home is monitored and safe at all times. The compact units utilize photoelectric technology designed to detect even the lightest smoke. This is because light smoke is generated for hours before suddenly bursting into flames. With this unit you can always monitor smoke levels before the situation gets out of hand.
When this detector senses smoke, it immediately sounds the alarm and starts flashing red. The alarm will continue to sound up until the smoke has cleared up or the test button is released. And the test button is easily within reach.
You’ll appreciate how installation of this smoke alarm is hassle free. The unit comes with all the mounting hardware necessary, so you don’t have to make any additional purchases.
This detector is powered by one lithium battery which is included by the manufacturer. Power outage won’t affect operation of the device.
The detectors don’t contain any harmful radioactive elements and you can install them in most rooms except bathrooms and kitchens.
For optimum performance, it’s advisable that you clean dust from the device every six months.
Note that the battery may heat up in some cases. If this happens, be sure to replace the unit immediately to avoid damaging it.
Extra features: 10-year battery and 10-year warranty
Here we have another battery-operated smoke detector designed to detect smoke and carbon monoxide. Its battery is also sealed in so this eliminates the hassle of frequently changing it. The integrated design of the battery also means continuous power for the alarm.
Sound produced by this alarm is quite loud. This is evident from the 85db power level of the unit.
Thanks to the electrochemical carbon monoxide sensing technology and photoelectric sensor, larger smoke particles are detected. You don’t have to worry about frequent false alarms.
This unit comes with an impressive 10 year limited warranty. And the manufacturer included an end-of-life signal chip so you know when the detector is due for replacement. This significantly takes care of your safety concerns.
Still on the subject of safety, you’ll appreciate that the device went through rigorous testing to meet UL standards.
You’ll have to pay a little extra for the model compared to other brands, but for the performance it offers, it’s well worth it.
Installation of this device is relatively easy. Make use of the instruction manual provided regarding the set-up process.
Extra features: LCD display with real-time monitoring; ultra-long standby time and low power consumption
Here we have yet another model designed to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. But the manufacturers took it a step further by adding a display screen. The unit not only tracks carbon monoxide but displays the reading on the screen. This way you can always monitor carbon monoxide levels and be aware of the severity of the emergency situation at all times.
The model uses a highly accurate electrochemical sensor that alerts you of any impending carbon monoxide danger.
It also features a photoelectric sensor that detects smoke and minimizes the occurrence of false alarms. This smoke operator CO operated unit is pretty easy to set up. You won’t need an electrician for the installation job.
The alarm is quite loud. You can easily hear it from any part of your home regardless of where it’s located.
Unfortunately in some cases, it may arrive without the battery cover. But you can always call the manufacturer to get it replaced.
The battery life isn’t long, so you’ll have to replace it frequently. But you’ll appreciate that the unit doesn’t cost much so you’ll be getting value for your money if you pick this product.
When it comes to choosing the best smoke detector, there are countless options at your disposal so picking the right one won’t be easy. We’re going to give you a few tips that’ll help in your decision making.
Granted, a smoke detector will keep you and your family safe from fires. But we’d advise that you opt for a high quality unit because cheaper models don’t tend to be as effective.
Also, cheaper models aren’t made of the highest quality so they won’t last long. Aside from sub-standard construction, cheaper models aren’t made using high quality technology such as photoelectric sensors. As a result, they tend to go off randomly. It’s best to invest in quality units when it comes to home safety.
A smoke detector is designed to sense smoke in the air. When smoke in the air reaches the detector, sensors in the unit pick up the signal and it immediately sounds off to notify people about the impending danger. Ionization alarms ionize the air using harmless amounts of radioactive particles, which work to create an electrical current within the alarm. As soon as smoke reaches the detector and interrupts the flow of ions, the alarm goes off. Photoelectric models, on the other hand, make use of light reflection technology: when smoke reaches the detector, it reflects light onto the sensor, thus sounding the alarm.
While smoke detectors’ core function is the same, these units have different specs and features depending on the brand you pick. We’re going to highlight a few major features you must consider before making your final purchase.
There are different types of sensors and this relates to the amount of smoke that they pick up. We list the basic two types below:
Smoke detectors are either hardwired or battery-operated. In some cases, they can have both power sources as evidenced by the number of units in our review that feature these two elements.
We’ll quickly point out that hardwired detectors are ideal if you want a reliable unit. Battery operated devices, though cheaper, tend to run out quicker.
Also, battery operated smoke detectors are much simpler to install. If you really want a battery-operated smoke detector but are worried about longevity, consider purchasing one with a lithium-ion battery. It can last you up to 10 years. The vitowell Combination Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector is one such example that’s designed to last you that long.
Some smoke detectors are designed to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide in the air. Most units reviewed on our list of recommendations have both functionalities. Examples include the BQQZHZ Smoke and CO detector and vitowell Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detector.
You want a smoke detector with a loud audio alarm you can hear clearly from any part of the room or building during an emergency. If it’s also accompanied by voice alerts and flashing lights, that’s even better. As mentioned earlier, some fires don’t show visible flames, but certain units are designed to give flashing signals if smoke is detected.
The First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector has voice location technology. Not only does the unit announce inception of the fire but it notifies you of the exact location.
Some smoke detector manufacturers take it a step further by including smart functionality on their units. These detectors such as the Kiddies model can be connected to multiple alarms for your convenience.
Other models can connect to alarms that aren’t of the same brand such as the First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector.
With certain units such as the First Alert Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, you can receive mobile alerts of fire emergencies if you aren’t at home.
You want a smoke detector that’s safe to use in your home. Opting for one that has undergone rigorous quality & safety tests and meets the UL standards is ideal. Be sure to look out for the UL rating on the model before purchase. The vitowell smoke detector is an example of a unit that’s UL listed.
Before buying a smoke detector consider where you want to install it. Do you want to mount it in your home, office or RV?
Homes will require multiple units for additional safety and the Vitowell 3 Pack is an ideal option. This is because you need at least one for every room to ensure your entire home is protected. You may also need a smoke detector with back-up batteries for your home in case power outages occur.
RVs will need smaller units so compact battery operated devices will suffice.
It’s not uncommon for electrical devices to malfunction. This is why you must consider the warranty that comes with the smoke alarm before you buy. Some units such as the vitowell Combination Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detector come with an impressive 10 year warranty. You don’t have to worry about repeat purchases if you pick such models.
Below are a few smoke detector installation and maintenance tips:
It’s time for our top three recommendations. First on our list is the First Alert 2-in-1 alarm which we gave a 9.8 rating. We like that it’s very easy to install and comes with an affordable price tag. Most importantly we appreciate that it sends out a mobile notification if a fire breaks out.
Second with a 9.7 rating is the First Onelink Safe & Sound smoke detector. We’re impressed with the loud alarm sound which you’ll hear clearly from any room in your home. We also love the voice alert functionality which notifies you when an emergency occurs. Above all, it’s compatible with hardwired alarms from other brands.
Lastly, we’ll go with the Kidde Hardwire detector alarm. What stood out with this unit is it comes with two backup batteries. The device comes complete with voice alerts and warning flashing lights.
So which of these units will you be purchasing for your home?