Smoke alarms might not prevent fires, but the right alarm can save your life from both fast flaming fires and smoldering smoke. There are countless options and features to help protect your home. Thankfully, our top recommendations, tips and guide will give you peace of mind about fire safety and smoke detectors.
Our Top 3 Smoke Detectors
Best Smart Smoke Detector
Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm
Why we picked it:
Uses a split sensor to detect photoelectric and ionization smoke and fires
Receive mobile notifications from the Nest Protect app when smoke detector batteries are low
Uses built-in voice technology to precisely share which room smoke or carbon monoxide is detected
Surprisingly, the NFPA reported 63 percent of the most recent smoke alarm detections were due to normal cooking, smoke and steam. Only 5 percent reported the alarm was due to a fire.
Smoke detectors reduce fire deaths by half. Yet, in nearly 40 percent of recent home fire deaths, there was not a smoke detector in the home. (FEMA)
The Red Cross reported that if all U.S. homes had working smoke alarms, nearly 900 people could be saved from home fire deaths annually. Having both smoke detectors and sprinklers could reduce an individual’s risk of a fire-related death by 82 percent.
Understanding the difference in smoke detectors
Hard-wired vs. battery operated
Hard-wired smoke alarms connect to your home’s wiring and electric system. They often require professional installation and may not work during power outages. On the contrary, battery operated smoke detectors are easier to install and don’t pose as much of an electric concern. The best bet is to invest in a hard-wired smoke detector with a backup battery for an interconnected smoke detecting system that still works during an outage.
Ionization vs. photoelectric
Ionization smoke alarms respond quickly to fires that arise quickly from flammable objects and liquids, also known as flaming fires. On the other hand, photoelectric smoke detectors work best after a long period of building smoke of smoldering fires. Consider placing dual sensor detectors throughout the home to detect both photoelectric and ionization using one alarm.
The Nest Protect smoke detector uses smart technology to easily manage the alarm via the Nest Protect mobile app. The mobile app automatically notifies Nest users of any smoke, fire or carbon monoxide detection. Easily power on this smoke alarm with six AA lithium batteries while staying up to speed on the smoke detector batteries and alerts using a smartphone and the Nest Protect app to have peace of mind away from home.
Monitor hush alarms via your mobile device and Nest app
Use the Nest Protect mobile app to receive mobile notifications for low batteries and test the smoke alarm
Quickly detects photoelectric and ionization fires using the Split Spectrum Sensor
Seamlessly interconnect these six smoke alarms throughout the home to simultaneously receive alerts of ionized fires sounding a loud and clear 85-decibel smoke alarm. This First Alert alarm meets all UL certified smoke alarm standards for approved home and business installation.
9V backup battery to continue to protect homes from fires during power outages
One-press button to test alarm and manage nuisance alerts
Uses an ionization detector to prevent flaming fires
This affordable smoke alarm can connect up to 24 carbon monoxide, smoke and heat alarms to create a seamless fire protection system within your home. Kidde’s easy-to-use smoke alarm includes a one-tap button to silence the hush functionality and quickly test the smoke detector during monthly check-ups.
9V backup battery to stay alert of smoke and fires during power outages
Tamper resistant locking to avoid smoke alarm theft
UL Standards approved for home and business installation, ensuring a safe and certified detector
The First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector is designed to keep homes safe from smoke and carbon monoxide while following any Alexa voice commands. The hardwired detector uses an 85-decibel alarm, voice alert and mobile notifications to stay up to speed on home fire and carbon monoxide safety.
Alexa-enabled for all voice commands ranging from smoke detection to music
Emergency and carbon monoxide notifications via mobile device
Includes adapter plugs for easy detector installation and rewiring
This Ardwolf smoke alarm is operated by a 9V battery to detect photoelectric smoke. The alarm includes an 85-decibel for a powerful alert for smoldering smoke and flashing red LED lights to signal when a battery change is needed.
Photoelectric chamber to detect smoldering, slow burning smoke from wide ranges before catching flames
9V Battery operated to work during power outages
One Single-tap button for quick smoke alarm resetting and monthly testing
You’ll always know when smoke is in your home with ADT’s smoke detector. When smoke is detected, mobile alerts are automatically sent to your smartphone, the smoke detector sounds an alarm and the 24/7 professional monitoring service is notified to keep your home safe.
Use the ADT Pulse® mobile app to automatically receive alerts when smoke or fire is detected
Includes a ‘Smart Check’ feature to automatically signal when the smoke detector needs to be cleaned
Connects to a monitored ADT home security system for a safe, smart home
This lithium battery operated Alert Pro smoke alarm detects photoelectric smoke with a 85-decibel alarm tone that exceeds the NFPA’s regulations. The long-lasting battery and life span reduces reminders for battery changing and includes a hush function for false alarms.
Powerful low battery and defect warning with 85-decibel sound alerts
Powered by a 10-year lithium battery for low-power consumption, reduced costs and battery check-ups
Eco-friendly smoke detector that’s free from harsh smells and chemicals, making it great for bedrooms
This First Alert Smoke Alarm is battery operated with an 85-decibel alarm and 11 programmable locations that use voice alerts to tell the family which room is in danger. This smoke alarm pack detects photoelectric smoke with AA batteries for wireless installation and connectivity to 18 other First Alert alarms throughout the home.
Detectors are designed to wirelessly interconnect with First Alert smoke alarms for a seamless smoke detector system throughout the home
Battery operated to avoid rewiring and continued protection during power outages
Includes programmable locations to alert the family where smoke or fire is coming from
This wireless, battery operated Kidde alarm uses an ionization sensor to detect fast-growing smoke and fires. Install them throughout the home and garage to extend smoke detection with only three AA batteries. This alarm seamlessly interconnects with other Kidde detectors for the perfect, affordable smoke detection system.
One smart touch button to easily silence false alarms
Tamper resist locking pin to avoid theft and damage
Wireless, twist-off design for easy ceiling mounting
This Universal Security Instruments alarm protects families against three home threats – fast-flaming fires, smoldering fires and carbon monoxide. This all-in-one alarm includes a 10-year battery and a microprocessor to silence nuisance alarms.
Supports extreme temperatures and humidity to avoid false smoke alarms
Wireless, easy installation for rental properties
Includes a permanently sealed battery lasting up to 10 years to reduce battery costs
This Honeywell smoke detector meets UL Standard regulations for certified smoke detector installation and safety requirements for homes and businesses. The wireless photoelectric smoke alarm comes with enhanced Robust RF field strength between the smoke detector and its receiver for better fire detection.
Easy installation with a durable mounting base to support uneven ceiling surfaces
Smart signals from the installed control panel to alert smoke detector cleaning
Green and red LED status indicators to stay up to speed on the smoke detector’s condition
Elvicto’s affordable pack of smoke detectors uses a photoelectric sensor to protect your home from smoke and fires with an LED light and loud sound alert. This battery powered smoke detector combo helps alleviate the worries of wired installation and potential outages during a power failure.
Low power consumption using a 10-year sealed lithium battery
85-decibel alarm for loud and clear smoke alerts
Hush alarm functionality to silence nuisance alerts
The SITERWELL smoke detector uses photoelectric technology, fire-retardant material, and UL Standards and regulations for safe installation and use against smoke and slow-building fires. This 3 pack of battery operated smoke alarms detects heat and smoke with LED light signals to quickly spot slow building smoke.
Green LED light to alert that the smoke detector is receiving power without worry
Receive emergency notifications via First Alert’s Onelink mobile app while away
Photoelectric sensor to quickly detect slow-rising smoke from all angles of the home
This simple, affordable smoke detector protects homes against fast flaming fires with an ionization sensor, a dust cover, and 9V batteries. The durable smoke detector includes a test button to easily check the smoke detector’s condition monthly.
85-decibel low battery alert with flashing LED light to quickly alert of smoke and fire within the home
Ionization sensor to detect flaming smoke and fire
Battery operated with 9V batteries for wireless, hassle-free installation
This ionization smoke alarm connects with other brands including Lifesaver, Nighthawk and Fyrnetics. The alarm uses a short chirp to sound every 30 seconds to remind you to change the battery. Kidde’s Firex smoke alarm meets UL Standard regulations to guarantee safe use for homes and businesses. It is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Easily silence nuisance alarm with a one-press ‘Hush’ button
Change the smoke alarm’s batteries easily with the front loading battery compartment
Connects with up to 24 Firex smoke alarms for a seamless home smoke detection system
Voice-enabled smoke detectors are growing popular as smart tech evolves. Simply put, think of having Siri or Alexa enabled within the smoke detector to give you voice commands rather than just a siren. Smart smoke detectors use mobile apps or built-in control panels for ease and convenience. In the event of an emergency, for some smart smoke detectors you’ll receive mobile notifications via an app.
What is a smart smoke detector?
Smart smoke detectors go beyond the basic uses with more control than through a one-touch button. They often connect to Wi-Fi and mobile devices to quickly manage smoke detector settings such as battery life, resetting or defects. The most popular feature that buyers enjoy is peace of mind away from home. When the smart smoke detector is connected to your smartphone, you’ll receive mobile notifications via the alarm’s app. Most detectors are also seamlessly connected to other smart technology home devices for a smart home that can all be managed from your mobile device.
What are smoke detector programmable locations?
Some smart smoke detectors pinpoint the exact room within the house where smoke or fire is detected. During installation, you’ll have the power to assign each smoke alarm to a preset location or room using a mobile app or control panel. When the alarm detects fire or smoke, the voice command will automatically alert you and your family of the location of the issue for a safe evacuation.
Smoke detector maintenance for fire preparedness
Always be aware of the expiration date of your smoke alarm. Most smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
Set reminders to test and clean smoke detectors monthly to ensure they are clean and working properly. Even if batteries aren’t low, they should be changed annually.
FEMA reports most home fire deaths occur during the night hours. As a protective measure, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and keep it free from windows and air vents.
The best placement for smoke detectors is on the ceiling, but if you have to mount them on the wall, make sure it’s within 6-12 inches from the ceiling. Also, avoid placing smoke alarms within 10 feet of kitchen gadgets to avoid false alarms.
Benefits of smoke detectors
Every smoke detector has one goal – to improve fire and smoke safety. The choices are endless but should be tailored to what works best for your home. Remember to always buy from a trusted manufacturer, and read all manuals before installment. For assistance with installing and understanding the smoke detector requirements contact your local fire department. Regardless of the options, smoke detectors aren’t optional when it comes to home safety. Here are the most common benefits.
Faster smoke detection. The sooner the detector finds danger, the better. Extra seconds to safely evacuate the home could save you from inhaling life-threatening smoke and fumes. Remember to have a fire evacuation plan for a fast and safe exit if the alarm sounds.
Cost-effective fire safety. Most smoke detectors cost less than $15 and can often be purchased in sets of two or more for better cost savings. Smoke detectors with smart technology can be more costly but come with added benefits such as mobile notifications of smoke, voice commands and easy syncing to other home devices. For just a few bucks, you’ll have peace of mind while preparing your humble abode for the unthinkable.
Easy monitoring. Smoke detector check-ups are often quick and easy. It’s as simple as setting a monthly reminder to vacuum the detector free of dust and changing the batteries annually. Even during weather preparedness, most smoke alarms include backup batteries to continue monitoring during power outages. These regular routines keep the home ready for the first sign of trouble.
Our experts have now equipped you with everything you need to know about the importance of smoke detectors. From top recommendations to tools and tips, you’ll be able to pick the perfect smoke detector for your home with ease. Ready to get started? Find the best smoke detector deals and best selling alarms on Amazon to get prepared today.
Our top 5 picks:
Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm
First Alert Smoke Detector Photoelectric and Ionized Alarm