Finally: A smoke/CO detector that won't make you rip out the batteries


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The other night, the smoke alarm started beeping. Slow and groggy, I got up and began searching the house for smoke, sparks and/or fire. Satisfied that the house was not on the brink of burning down, I pulled out a stepstool, got on my tiptoes, yanked off the smoke alarm and pulled out the battery. At 2:30 a.m.

It’s safe to say that most of us have been there. But if you’re tired of being screamed at by low-battery beeps, then this new innovation in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be on your radar.

Nest Labs’ new Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector that not only sounds an alarm when there’s danger, but also actually speaks to you, telling you where the danger is located. What’s more, Protect gives you a heads-up warning before sounding the alarm. The warning can be silenced with a wave of your hand.

“With our first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, we set out to help people reduce home energy use,” said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and CEO. “Now, we’re turning our attention to something that’s also important: keeping families safe in their homes. We’ve all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we’re cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night. Every time a smoke alarm cries wolf, we trust it a little less, and then — in a moment of frustration — we rip the batteries out to stop the beeping. And that leaves us and our families at risk.”

Here’s what Nest Protect can do:

  • Two-in-one: It’s a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, with photoelectric smoke sensor, CO sensor, heat sensor, light sensor, ultrasonic sensors and activity sensor that work together.

  • Heads-Up: If Protect sees that smoke or CO levels are rising but have not yet reached emergency alarm levels, it will give you an early warning.

  • Mobile notifications: You can connect Nest Protect to a free Nest account using Wi-Fi, which will then send you low-battery alerts, Heads-Up and emergency alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet. In an emergency, the “What to Do” feature offers advice and one-button access to an emergency phone number.

  • No more sleep disturbance: Nest Protect shows you its sensors and batteries are working with a quick green glow after you turn off the lights — which means you can say goodbye to low-battery beeps.

  • Pathlight: LED lights serve as a night light in your home.

  • Vocal alarms: In addition to alarm sounds, Nest Protect uses female voice alarms to alert people who are able to sleep through the beeping.

Nest Protect is $129 and can be pre-ordered here.