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How to Choose the Best Smart Smoke and CO Detector for Your Home

Oct 18, 2022|

Home security isn’t just about stopping intruders from getting in. It’s also about keeping you safe from potential dangers that are already inside your home.

You never know when an emergency like a fire or a carbon monoxide leak will happen. When it does, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can depend on your safety alarms to sense the crisis right away, so you can react quickly.

But there are so many smart detectors to choose from. How do you know you’re buying the right one for your needs? In this guide, we explain everything you should consider when choosing a smart smoke or carbon monoxide detector for your home.

Family having breakfast in their kitchen.

Which smart smoke detector is best?

There’s no single best smart smoke detector. The best one for you will depend on several factors like your home design, location, and preferences.

For example, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that homes with pitched ceilings should have fire detectors 3 feet or less from the peak of the roof. That means if your home has pitched roofs, you’ll likely need a wireless detector that you can mount on the wall.

Are smart smoke detectors worth it?

Your safety is the last place you want to cut corners. Smart detectors may cost a little more than normal ones, but they’re one of the best home security investments you can make.

There are several reasons you might choose smart detectors over traditional ones.

  • You can control and manage your smart detectors remotely. They’ll also give you real-time alerts when there’s an emergency in your home, wherever you happen to be.
  • Smart detectors have more advanced technology that lets them sense threats faster. This comes in handy in an emergency situation where every second counts.
  • The batteries in a smart smoke alarm generally last longer than those in a normal one. And you can keep track of how much energy they have left remotely.
  • Smart detectors can sound alarms as well as voice alerts. For some people, voice alerts are a more effective wake-up call than beeping or chirping if there’s an emergency while they’re sleeping.

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Which smart smoke and CO detector features to consider for your home

What should you look for in a smart detector? Now we’ll explain some of the smart features you should put on your radar when looking for the right detectors for your home.

App notifications and alerts

One of the biggest benefits of having a smart smoke detector is that you can control it remotely using a mobile app. The mobile app will send notifications to your phone when smoke or toxic gas is detected in your home. That way, if there’s a fire or gas leak while you’re away, you’ll know about it in real-time so you can call emergency services immediately.

This feature is even more important if you have family members or pets living in your home who may not be able to get to safety on their own if there’s an emergency.

Vivint’s combination fire and carbon monoxide detector uses a built-in wireless transmitter to communicate directly with your Smart Hub and the Vivint app to send instant alerts—and it will even notify first responders if necessary.

Battery life

You can buy either hardwired or battery-powered CO and smoke detectors. To hardwire detectors, you’ll usually need the help of a professional installer.

The benefit of using battery-powered detectors, like Vivint’s combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector, is that they work even when the power goes out in your home. Battery-powered detectors also don’t need a plug-in power source to work, so you have more freedom where you place them in your home. Some wired detectors do have battery backups as well.

Smart detectors usually have batteries that last much longer than normal detectors. Also, testing a multi-year battery in your smart detector is as easy as taking a quick glance at your mobile app display. You’ll even get an alert on your smartphone if your detector has a low battery.

With normal detectors, you generally have to test batteries manually by pressing a button on the side of the device. This can be challenging if you have detectors located high up on your walls or if you have a large home with a lot of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Fast and accurate smoke and CO detection

Smart detectors can generally sense danger faster than normal ones. Traditional detectors have ionization sensors that sense flaming fires or photoelectric sensors that detect small particles of smoke. Photoelectric alarms are usually safer because they sense smoldering fires and have fewer false alarms.

Smart detectors like those offered by Vivint take things a step further by using a combination of the two technologies. The combo smoke and CO detector also uses electrochemical technology to identify the presence of carbon monoxide immediately.

For example, smart smoke detectors can sometimes sense when the environment in a room changes. They might be able to tell when a room gets extremely hot, or the temperature goes up rapidly. This helps them detect burning fires and smoke and gives you an early warning even before smoke particles reach you.

Integration with your HVAC system

Generally when there’s a fire, smoke inhalation causes much more harm to a person than the fire itself. When there’s smoke or CO in your home, you want to do everything you can to keep it from spreading. If your air conditioner fan keeps running, it can send smoke through your vents into the other rooms in your home.

Fortunately, a smart detector like Vivint’s combo detector interconnects with your HVAC system, telling the HVAC to shut off so that it doesn’t blow smoke or other toxic chemicals throughout your home.

Compatibility with smart home systems and devices

If you already have smart devices in your home, you’ll want detectors that can integrate with them. Generally, you’ll be able to see which products and smart systems a detector is compatible with on the box before you buy it.

When your smoke detector works with the rest of your devices, like your smart thermostat, your smart lighting system, and your smart garage door, you can do things like program your smart lights to flash and change colors whenever your smoke or CO alarms get activated.

Or you can program your smart locks to unlock your door when your smoke alarm goes off so your animals can get out of the house.

Some smart systems, like those offered by Vivint, even have integrations with smart home hub programs like Google Home, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Amazon Echo that let you control your smart devices using voice commands.

Vivint Smoke and CO Detector on the ceiling.

Find the best Vivint smart smoke and CO detectors for your home

If you’re looking for a quality smart smoke and carbon monoxide detection alarm system to protect your home and give you the first alert when there’s an emergency, look no further than Vivint. Our friendly professionals are knowledgeable when it comes to home security systems. They’ll help you find and install the detectors you need to keep your home and your family safe.

And if you’re interested in smart home technology, we’ll also answer your questions about home automation and help you choose the right smart home devices at the best budget for you, like security cameras and motion sensors, to help you build the smart home ecosystem of your dreams.

Give us a call today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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