6 Best Smoke Alarms to Keep Your Home Safe

Being in a fire emergency is almost too frightening to even think about. That is why you need a smoke alarm in your house. A smoke alarm will not only preemptively detect the smoke but also ensure that you take immediate steps to prevent any fire hazard. 

Every house has several potential sources of CO including water heaters, gas stoves, ovens, grills, lawn equipment, and many more. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that you cannot see or touch. According to a report, it can kill a person in less than five minutes. Some smoke alarms detect carbon monoxide (CO) before it reaches deadly levels.

Propane or LPG is used by every house for cooking. Propane is not a poisonous gas, but it often leads to asphyxiation, which means that it displaces the oxygen in your lungs. Also, since it is a combustible gas, it may lead to a fire. Also, Propane is a source of CO. Smoke alarms can alert you if there is a propane leakage in your house, and alert you before things get out of hand.

What are the types of Smoke Alarms?

There are mainly two types of smoke alarms. They are ionization and photoelectric alarms.

Ionization alarms

These contain a trace amount of radioactive material, which reacts with particles generated during a fire and causes the alarm to sound. Ionization alarms work best for detecting fast flaming fires that don’t produce a lot of visible smoke. However, many house fires are smoky and smoldering long before they ignite, and ionization alarms aren’t as efficient to detect these. They are particularly susceptible to irritating alarms caused by cooking and steam, so they should not be placed near your kitchen or bathroom. 

Photoelectric alarms 

These have a photocell and a light beam that shines away from the photocell. When smoke enters the test chamber, the smoke particles scatter some of the light, which strikes the cell and sets off the alarm. Smoky and smoldering flames, which are a common type of house fire, are best detected using photoelectric alarms. Because dust or insects entering the unit might generate false alarms, they must be cleaned regularly.

Which type of Smoke Alarm is the best?

Photoelectric smoke alarms are the best for homes because they detect smoke from smoldering synthetic material faster than ionization alarms. 

A typical house fire does not flare into flames at once. Burning materials smolder and smoke for a long time before it happens. 

You can easily prevent a fire hazard when it is still in the smoldering stage. However, for enhanced detection, you should look for smoke alarms that employ both photoelectric and ionization alarms for smoke detection.

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What to look for in a Smoke Alarm?

Apart from the type of smoke detector alarm you want, there are several other crucial things that you need to consider.

  • Test Button: There are test buttons on smoke alarms, which let you know if the device is working or not. To avoid installing a malfunctioning gadget in your home, this is a crucial feature.
  • Hush Button: Using this button silences annoying sirens for a few minutes, which is useful if you’ve accidentally burned toast and set off the alarm. Certain alarms can even be hushed with remote control.
  • Battery Level Indicator: Devices that run on battery need to monitor their battery levels. This is helpful because you can replace the batteries when they need changing.
  • Interconnection: If you have a large house, interconnected smoke alarms can alert everyone in the house about a potential fire. They also guide you to the location of the smoke so that you can take timely action.

Best Smoke Alarms Recommended by Security Specialists

To help you choose a suitable smoke detector for you, we have prepared a list of the 6 best smoke alarms.

1. First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Specifications:

  • Dimensions – 2 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Power Source – Battery Powered
  • Sensor Type – Electrochemical, Photoelectric, CO
  • Alarm Type – 85-decibel siren
  • Battery Type – alkaline

The First Alert Smoke is a dual-purpose smoke alarm that detects both fire and carbon monoxide. It is battery-operated and provides continuous monitoring of CO levels, even in case of a power failure. 

The electrochemical CO sensor protects you against poisonous gas.  The smoke detector is a photoelectric sensor that detects a smoldering fire and saves your life.

It runs on 2AA batteries hence you don’t require professional installation. 

The smoke alarm uses specific beep patterns to alert you about different things and can be understood by kids too. Four beeps and a pause indicate smoke or carbon monoxide gas, ensuring that you move to safety before things get worse. A single beep every minute indicates a low battery, prompting you to change it for continuous monitoring. Five beeps each minute indicate the alarm is no longer effective and you need to replace it. 

You can program up to 11 locations into the linked detectors, and the voice will notify you of any hazards. Each smoke detector alarm is set to 85 decibels; Which is loud enough to wake you awake, yet it won’t cause you any discomfort. 

Pros:

  • 3 types of sensors – Electrochemical, Photoelectric, CO
  • Specific beep patterns for different alerts
  • Up to 11 interconnections

Cons:

  • No hush buttons

2. Kidde Firex Hard-wired Smoke Detector with Ionization and Photoelectric Dual Sensors

Kidde Firex Hardwired Smoke Detector with Ionization and Photoelectric Dual Sensors

Specifications:

  • Dimensions – 2 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Power Source – Corded Electric
  • Sensor Type – Ionization, Photoelectric
  • Alarm Type – 85-decibel siren
  • Battery Type – ‎1 9V battery

The Kidde Firex Smoke Alarm is a 120-volt AC wired smoke detector with a 9-volt battery backup in case the power goes out.

The smoke alarm can function as a stand-alone device but can also be linked to up to 24 Kidde devices. This is useful for monitoring wider areas. The device employs both photoelectric and ionization sensors for enhanced detection.

Photoelectric sensors detect visible particles associated with smoldering fires better. Ionization sensors are more suited for detecting unseen particles associated with blazing fires. Also, the smoke alarm features a tamper-resistant design that deters tampering and theft.

Some customers spotted a yellow cap left on one of the devices in 2018, which obscured one of the sensors. Kidde was quick to rectify the error. If you notice a yellow cap on your detector, you can contact Kidde for replacement. 

Pros:

  • Battery backup for power failure
  • Up to 24 interconnections
  • Tamper-resistant design

Cons:

  • Manufacturing defect was reported by several customers in 2018

Recommended: Best Smoke Detector Cameras To Buy

3. First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Alarm

First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Alarm

Specifications:

  • Dimensions – 5.7 x 5.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Power Source – Corded Electric, Battery Powered
  • Sensor Type – Ionization, Photoelectric
  • Alarm Type – 85-decibel siren
  • Battery Type – ‎2 AA batteries (included)

First Alert is one of the most trusted brands and launched the first residential smoke alarm in 1958. The First Alert BRK model is a 120 V AC smoke alarm that can be used stand-alone or interconnected with other smoke sensors. It also has a power backup for power failure. 

It features ionization and photoelectric sensors with “OptiPath 360 Technology”, designed to give 360-degrees access to the smoke sensors. 

This smoke alarm features two alarm latches and two silence latches. The Alarm latch identifies initiating alarm even after the alarm condition subsides. To silence the alarm, the alarm silence latch can be used. Low battery light identifies the unit which has a low battery and silences it for up to 8 hours using a Low Battery Silence latch. 

Pros:

  • One of the most trusted brand
  • Power saving using the Low Battery Silence latch
  • Battery backup for power failure

Cons:

  • None noticed

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4. Google Nest Protect Smoke Alarm

Google Nest Protect Smoke Alarm

Specifications:

  • Dimensions – 5.3 x 1.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Power Source – Corded Electric
  • Sensor Type – Ionization, Photoelectric, CO
  • Alarm Type – Friendly voice alert
  • Battery Type – ‎3 Lithium Metal Batteries(included)

The Google Nest is a voice-enabled Smoke Alarm that warns you in a friendly voice to warn you about any smoke or CO in your home. It looks for fast-burning fires, smoldering fires, and CO and tells you the exact location of origin. 

The Nest Protect has an electrochemical CO sensor and a photoelectric smoke sensor. It keeps your homes safe from fire even when you are not around. The device sends an alert to your smartphone, when you are not at home, so you can take quick action.  Also, the smoke alarm alerts you if the battery runs low so you can immediately change them. 

You can program the Nest Protect to turn off the Nest Thermostat, a potential source of carbon monoxide.

Pros:

  • Three types of sensors
  • Compatibility with Nest Thermostat
  • Alerts to smartphone
  • Friendly voice alert

Cons:

  • Users reported that the sensors are not very sensitive

5. HSTMYFS Natural Digital Home Gas Detector

HSTMYFS Natural Digital Home Gas Detector

Specifications:

  • Dimensions – ‎8.31 x 3.07 x 2.92 inches
  • Power Source -Plug-in
  • Sensor Type – LPG detector
  • Alarm Type – 85-decibel siren
  • Battery Type – none

The Home natural gas detector is used to detect LPG(Methane), natural gas, coal gas, and gas fuel in your home. It is a plug-in device so it does not need professional installation. 

On detecting harmful levels of these gases, it offers voice notification and a digital readout of the gas concentration. An 85-decibel alarm is also used to alert you.

The device can be installed in your home garage. It helps in reducing the risk of gas explosion and protects your family’s life and property. 

Pros:

  • Detects LPG(methane)
  • High sensitivity to a gas leak
  • Quick set-up

Cons:

  • Can’t detect smoldering fire

6. Blackt Electrotech (BT35F) Plastic DIY Smoke Detector

Blackt Electrotech Plastic DIY Smoke Detector

Specifications:

  • Dimensions –  6.7 x 5.4 x 2.7 inches
  • Power Source – Wireless
  • Sensor Type – Ionization, Photoelectric
  • Alarm Type – 85-decibel siren
  • Battery Type – ‎1 9V battery

Blackt Smoke Detector produces an 85-decibel alarm with a flashing LED to indicate smoke. It has a test button you can use to check whether the device is faulty or not. 

The smoke detector is a wireless device powered by a 9-volt battery that has a life of 1 year. 

It has low power consumption CMOS processors and an operational temperature range of -10 degrees C to  50 degrees C and an operating humidity of less than 95%. It also boasts a detection area of up to 25 square meters.

1 smoke alarm unit, 1 ceiling mounting plate, 2 mounting screws, and a user handbook are included in the package.

It is easy to mount on your ceilings or walls by drilling a few holes and screwing the bracket in place.

Pros:

  • Test button to check the workability
  • Visual LED alarm ideal for hearing disabled people
  • Detection up to 25 square meters

Cons

  •  No battery level indication

Recommended: Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors to Protect Your Health

Conclusion

We hope the rundown has made it easier for you to decide on the perfect smoke alarm for your home. We may think that we are safe, but adversity doesn’t come knocking. It is sudden. Therefore, smoke alarms are a must-have device to keep your loved ones and yourself safe. If you have any questions related to these best smoke detectors then reach out to us via the comment section

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