As people have been spending more time at home these days, it may be time to do some much-needed repairs and inspections. You do not only want to be comfortable in your homes, but safe as well. Whether you have yet to install a smoke detector, you can begin and end your search for the best smoke detector today with this comprehensive guide.
Some people may overlook the importance of a smoke detector, or be irresponsible about prudently checking if theirs is fully functioning. However, a working smoke detector could be a matter of life or death. The National Fire Protection Association’s report on smoke alarms presents eye-opening facts that reveal just how vital this device is to your homes.
Nearly three in every five deaths resulting from a home fire were 40% due to the absence of a smoke alarm, of 17% due to malfunctioning or broken alarms. Between 2012 and 2016, 74% of domestic fires that were reported to the police were due to presence of functional smoke detectors.
Working smoke detectors decrease the risk of perishing in a home fire by fifty-percent. Furthermore, the US Fire Administration notes that half of the deaths caused by home fires occur between 11pm to 7am.
This poses higher risks since most of your household is likely asleep within this window. Installing smoke detectors in every room of your home could spare your lives in mere seconds.
If all homes in the United States were equipped with a smoke detector, roughly 900 lives could be saved every year. While some may consider smoke detectors an investment – especially depending on the device you purchase — these are well worth making. You cannot put a price on your family’s lives.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Smoke Detector for Your Home
There are several factors to consider when choosing a smoke detector for your home. You must take into account your family’s specific needs, and the pros and cons of each and every smoke detector model.
Depending on whatever device you end up with, you should pay significant attention to monitoring, cleaning, and checking your smoke detector. This ensures that it is working to its optimal capabilities, and will keep you safe at all costs.
Smoke detectors are usually positioned depending on building codes, but it is often recommended that you install these in every room and level of your home. It is also advised that you interconnect your smoke alarms for maximum protection.
Here are some other factors to help you get started in your search for the best smoke detector:
Typically, your choice of alarms are as follows: ionization, photoelectric, or a combination of both. While both ionization and photoelectric alarms are beneficial, you need to consider the kinds of fires that can occur in the home.
Slow-burning and smoldering fires with a high build-up of smoke are best detected with photoelectric smoke alarms. On the other hand, ionization smoke detectors work best for fast-burning or flaming fires that usually occur due to liquids or flammable objects.
People often opt for a combination of both, or a dual-sensing capability, to detect either kind of fire.
There are also choices you have to make for your smoke detector in relation to its power type. Some smoke detectors need to be hardwired into your home’s electric and wiring systems, and these could prove practical as you will not have to inspect its batteries so frequently.
However, should there be a power outage at the time of a fire, this hard wire setup will not work – unless it comes with a spare backup battery.
Battery-operated smoke detectors are easy to install, but will need to be checked and replaced regularly. The safest option would be to go for the former option for as long as the hard-wired alarm also comes with a battery as backup.
Carbon Monoxide Detection
One additional feature that some smoke alarms may have is carbon monoxide detection. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning carbon fuel, and it is extremely toxic especially in confined spaces like homes. Small amounts of carbon monoxide may cause permanent damage, and possibly even death.
Since it is odorless and colorless, it is difficult to detect carbon monoxide without a sensor. There are a number of combined smoke/CO detectors on the market, and these make for heightened prevention against potential dangers. You might opt for a combined alarm to save space and resources, and greater efficiency overall.
As previously mentioned, carbon monoxide poses harmful consequences if left undetected. Smoke detectors that come with voice and location alerts can immediately inform you if the emergency is either related to carbon monoxide or a fire. These can also tell you where this is occurring.
You can then take immediate precautions to either call for help or make a safe escape. If your smoke detector has a voice alarm, this can also signal you if your alarm is running low in terms of batteries.
Escape Light Feature
In case of unforeseen circumstances and emergencies, you might find comfort in knowing that your smoke detector comes with an escape or safety light feature. This is triggered during an emergency, and can light up a path for an easy and safe escape route.
Escape lights could also prove to be a safe choice if you live with people who are hearing impaired.
Best Smoke Detector for Your Home
From smart features to combined features, these smoke detectors have wonderful all-around capacities, especially if you are willing to spend a tad more. They have high user ratings and are frequently listed as some of the best smoke detectors on the market.
Google Nest Protect S3003LWES
Those who are willing to spend for the best smoke detector in the market may frequently come across the Google Nest Protect S3003LWES. This smoke detector has everything you possibly need if you wish to tick off all the factors to consider.
It has a split spectrum feature with the usual photoelectric sensor, but also blue LED technology that detects all kinds of fires.
The Google Nest Protect S3003LWES is one of the best smoke detectors for high humidity areas as it can differentiate between smoke from a fire and smoke or steam from regular activities and occurrences. This makes it one of the best smoke detectors for kitchen usage as it knows the difference between an emergency fire or a pot of steaming water.
It is also one of the best smart smoke detectors as it connects with an app on your smartphone for easy silencing as well. It also comes with an integrated carbon monoxide detector. You have two options to choose from, as it is available as either a hardwired model or a battery-operated one.
Its sleek and aesthetically pleasing design is not an eyesore and can fit right into your smart home.
First Alert BRK 3120B
The First Alert BRK 3120B is the best hardwired smoke detector that comes with a battery backup. It has both ionization and photoelectric sensing abilities, and this dual-sensor smoke detector has its own patented technology called OptiPath360. The device takes in both air and smoke from all sides.
To label something as the best hardwired smoke detector, you can also take a look at its user reviews. The First Alert BRK 3120B has garnered close to 4,000 4.5 star ratings on Amazon. Moreover, it has an interconnectability feature with up to 18 devices by First Alert.
With both LED lights and silencing features, you can immediately see which unit set off an alarm, and determine if its battery backup is running low.
First Alert OneLink Alexa Safe & Sound
Those who have started to make the shift towards a smart home may decide to go for a smoke detector that can be easily integrated into their other smart devices. The First Alert OneLink Alexa Safe & Sound is loaded with smart features, including a built-in Alexa-enabled speaker.
You can get smartphone alerts informing you if there has been a trigger — giving you peace of mind even if you are not home.
It can be considered the best smart smoke detector and best hardwired smoke detector all in one, which may justify its heftier price tag. However, its features are not limited to its photoelectric sensors and the usual smoke detector abilities. You can also use it as another Alexa-enabled speaker for your home.
Most Affordable Smoke Detectors
Those who are on a limited budget can still find smoke detectors that give them great value for money. Rest assured, you can still have sufficient protection without breaking the bank.
The Kidde i4618 is one of the best smoke detectors 2020 as it boasts easy installation and can seamlessly be interconnected with other alarms in your home. Think of it as creating your own home alarm security system. Although battery-powered, its slide load battery door and low battery indicator makes it easy to change them as often as you need to.
Its ionization sensor is great for early detection of even small fire particles, but will not always give you an accurate alert for smoldering fires. This smoke alarm also detects false alarms.
Kidde FireX Hardwire Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector
Also within Kidde’s range of offerings is the FireX Hardwire Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector. This set gives you a great value for money, especially if you are seeking out new units for your home.
The 2-pack set requires hardwiring into your home’s system, but also comes with one 9V battery backup per unit for full protection.
Since they are already interconnected, they can be considered some of the best smoke detectors 2020 as they cover all ground for maximum protection. They have voice alerts to inform you whether it is carbon monoxide or fire that they are detecting.
One caveat is that this option is confined to photoelectric sensors, so there is no assurance that they will be able to detect and alert you of a fast-burning fire.
Considering that it has a 10-year battery, the X-Sense SD03 is a relatively cheap option for something that has an advanced photoelectric smoke sensor. You will have less false alarms with this device, as its sensors assess three samples of smoke before alerting you. This means that it can also distinguish between kinds of fires, and give you an early warning.
You can easily check its alarm status with the help of its red, green, and yellow LED light signals. It has been approved by the ETL and conforms with UL standards.
Best Smoke Detector for Commercial Use
Commercial spaces require just as much protection, and the best smoke detector will allow you to monitor an office, store, or building remotely.
Honeywell Wireless Smoke and Heat Detector
This battery-operated smoke and heat detector is reasonably priced considering its durability and its capabilities. It meets the UL Standard’s requirements for smoke detector installation, making it a great choice for businesses as well.
It is relatively simple to install, regardless of the surface you will be mounting it on.
The Honeywell is one of the best smart smoke detectors for commercial use, as it can even send smart signals from its installed control panel. This will also alert when it needs cleaning. It comes with LED lights that signal green or red to keep you informed of its status and condition.
Ultimately, this photoelectric alarm is one of the best smoke detectors 2020 as it is integrated with an increased Robust RF field strength between the receiver and detector, meaning you will not need a repeater.
Bosch FCP-320/FCH-320 Conventional Automatic Fire Detectors
Bosch Security has long been known to provide robust safety solutions. Their FCP-320/FCH-320 Conventional Automatic Fire Detectors have set new standards in fire detection technology. This is the best smoke detector for commercial use for those who are sick and tired of getting false alarms.
Through intelligent evaluation electronics and thermal, optical, and chemical sensors, these Bosch fire detectors have expert speed and accuracy in their alarms. Alarms are triggered after an analysis of signals received. Its linked sensors and combined detectors may also be utilized in areas with frequent smoke, dust, or steam production.
Included in the combination of these sensors is a carbon monoxide detector. The Bosch Security fire detectors veer on the more professional end of smoke detectors, but will ensure that your commercial spaces are protected at all times.
ADT Smoke Detector
The ADT Smoke Detector requires professional installation as the company’s team of experts do a thorough analysis of the proper locations to hook up the smoke detectors. You will receive mobile alerts on the ADT Pulse app on your smartphone whenever smoke or fire is detected.
Its Smart Check feature automatically tells you when the model needs to be cleaned, or if it needs new batteries. A programmable alarm gives you the option to set off all the alarms present when a fire is detected.
Although available for home usage, this is also a great option for commercial spaces. The ADT Smoke Detector is one of the best smoke detectors 2020 as it has 24/7 professional monitoring. Sensors detect quickly rising temperatures to notify ADT as soon as possible, and they will then send help immediately.
With the addition of some products or services, you will also be able to unlock exit doors to let in first responders remotely. You may even turn off the air in the space to mitigate the spread of smoke. It is also tamper-protected, making it a good choice for commercial use.
Takeaways on Smoke Detectors
Each smoke detector model may have a different lifespan, with the standard being five to ten years before the next replacement. However, this always differs, especially if you get combination devices. Be sure to note all these important details down whenever you have a new smoke detector.
You are spoiled by choice when it comes to choosing the best smoke detectors 2020. Ultimately, you can claim the best smoke detector depending on your particular needs. Regardless of the device or brand you choose, remember to check your warranties and the devices themselves to ensure that they are always working.
Take time to review your options and see what works best for your home. May you find a device that works well for you and stay protected always. Remember — a simple device could save your family’s lives.
Have you ended your search for the best smoke detector already? Comment below and let’s discuss!