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Pros and Cons of a Wi-Fi Smoke Detector

Nov 04, 2022|

When it comes to fire safety, you don’t want to take chances. If there’s an emergency in your home, you need to know about it right away so you can get your loved ones to safety and call 911. If you can react to a fire quickly, you’ll be more likely to minimize the damage it can cause.

Wi-Fi smoke detectors, or smart smoke detectors, can help you detect and respond to a fire fast. In this guide, we tell you about the pros and cons of having Wi-Fi smoke detectors in your home.

Smoke detector on the ceiling.

How do Wi-Fi smoke detectors work?

Fire alarms use ionization sensors or photoelectric sensors to detect smoke. Ionization smoke detectors are better at noticing fires that flare up quickly, while photoelectric alarms are better at recognizing smoldering fires.

Photoelectric alarms are considered more effective because most fires don’t flare up immediately. Some alarms are also dual-sensor, which means they can effectively detect both types of fires.

Smart devices use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Z-Wave technology to communicate with each other. People with a smart smoke detector can use a smartphone and mobile app to manage and control the system remotely. Smart fire alarms also use your home’s internet connection to communicate with the rest of your home’s smart systems and devices.

Generally, you’ll need a smart home hub like the Vivint Smart Hub or another central control panel to control your Wi-Fi smoke detector — along with your other smart devices, like your CO detector, smart locks, and smart lighting — from a central location.

When traditional smoke alarms sense smoke, they let out a screeching alarm. Smart detectors take things a step further: They let out an alarm and send a notification to your smartphone so you can call 911.

What happens to Wi-Fi smoke detectors if the Wi-Fi goes out?

Without a Wi-Fi connection, your Wi-Fi smoke detector will simply work like a normal smoke alarm. You won’t be able to control it remotely with your Android or iOS smartphone, but the alarm will still activate when the device senses smoke.

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Pros of Wi-Fi smoke detectors

Smart detectors have a lot of benefits. Traditional fire detectors will set off an alarm so you can get out of your home during a fire, but they won’t do much good if you’re at the office, in school, or on vacation.

Here are some of the top benefits of Wi-Fi smoke detectors.

  • Wi-Fi smoke detectors can send push notifications to your smartphone to notify you of an emergency no matter where you happen to be. That means that if there’s a fire in your home while you’re at work, you’ll get an immediate alert so you can call the fire department and protect your valuables.
  • Being able to manage your smoke detector remotely is also really convenient. If you have a battery-operated device, the display on your mobile app will tell you exactly how much battery life you have left so you don’t have to wait for your device to start incessantly chirping when it has a low battery.
  • Wi-Fi smoke detectors, like the Vivint combo smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, can work with the rest of your smart devices. For example, you can program your smart alarm to shut off your HVAC system when there’s a fire so it doesn’t spread dangerous smoke to the rest of your home.
  • If your detector ever has a false alarm, you can stop it from going off with your smartphone. With a regular detector, you’d have to climb up to your alarm and manually deactivate it.
  • Some smart detectors even have features that let them detect fires faster. For instance, your smart detector might be able to sense when there’s a rapid rise in a room’s temperature. Many smart fire alarms also provide voice alerts during a fire in addition to a siren.

Cons of Wi-Fi smoke detectors

Smart smoke detectors also have some downsides. Here are a few things to take into account before installing Wi-Fi smoke detectors in your house.

  • Smart detectors need a Wi-Fi internet connection to use their smart features. If your router ever goes down, your Wi-Fi system won’t be able to send smart notifications or communicate with your home’s other smart devices. However, the system will still sound an alarm if there’s a fire.
  • Most Wi-Fi detectors are battery-powered, so you’ll have to change their batteries periodically. However, it’s easy to check how much battery your system has left with a quick look at your mobile app display. And batteries in smart detectors usually last a lot longer than those in normal detectors. Some systems even have a 10-year battery (lithium battery) power source that’s designed to last as long as the detector itself. Vivint’s smart smoke detector even has a battery backup, so it’s always on.
  • Because Wi-Fi detectors have more features than normal detectors, they generally have a higher price tag. However, if you’re going to splurge on anything, your home’s fire safety system might be one of the best investments you can make.
Family playing games at home.

Are smart smoke detectors worth it?

Just the thought of a home fire is scary. But if the unthinkable ever does happen, a smart smoke detector — like Vivint’s smoke detector — can give you fast and reliable detection. You can escape unharmed and limit the damage to your home.

Smart detectors are even more important if you have pets or relatives living in your home. If you’re not there when a crisis happens, smart alarms tell you what’s going on in real time so you can get your animals and family members out of danger.

And if you subscribe to a professional monitoring service, your security team will call 911 for you if you can’t be reached.

Outfit your home with a smoke detection system from Vivint

If you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home has the most effective and reliable fire and CO alarms available, check out Vivint’s combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

Not only can it detect smoke and CO levels in your home fast, but it also works in conjunction with the rest of the devices in your smart home security system to keep you and your family safe in an emergency.

A wireless interconnected smart security system from Vivint also has integrations with smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant — so you can manage and control it using your voice.

If smart home automation interests you, Vivint has the smart devices you need. When you reach out to Vivint, our team of friendly experts will answer all your questions about home automation and help you design and implement your ideal smart home setup.

Find out how Vivint can make your home more comfortable and convenient. Call us at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

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System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.