Best Smoke Detector Reviews 2017

We know that home safety is something to take seriously. That’s why we did research to find five of the best brands for home smoke detectors. We’ve selected one product from each brand, but if one model doesn’t light a fire under you (excuse the pun), check out what else they to offer; they’re bound to have the one to suit your needs and budget.
Watch Our Smoke Detector Review
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Sensor Type
Alarm Type
Temp Range
Humidity
Our Top Choice
Nest Protect Smoke & CO Alarm
Nest is known for top-of-the-line home comfort and safety. If you won’t settle for less than the best, the Nest Protect could be your top choice.
Get alerts straight to your phone when the alarm goes off or batteries run low. Split spectrum sensor detects both fast- and slow-burning fires.10-year carbon monoxide sensor.
Costlier than competitors
Split Spectrum Sensor
Smoke/Fire/CO
40°F to 100°F Ambient
20% RH to 80% RH
Best Value
First Alert Dual Sensing Smoke Alarm
First Alert is a top brand in home protection. A dual sensing smoke alarm ensures your family’s safety by detecting both smoldering and flaming fires.
Two different silence features. Easy installation and easy-to-access battery drawer.
Can’t tell if only one of the two sensors is malfunctioning.
Photoelectric and Ionization
Smoke/Fire
40°F to 100°F Ambient
10% to 95% RH
Gentex 7139LS Smoke Detector
Gentex makes a wide range of high-quality alarms for home and business use. The 7139LS is an ADA-compliant photoelectric smoke alarm with a bright strobe light.
A good choice for schools, businesses, and homes. High-decibel horn and bright strobe light make this an ideal unit for those with hearing impairment.
Battery backup alone won’t make light flash. No interconnect feature.
Photoelectric
Smoke
40°F to 100°F Ambient
Avoid Very Humid Areas
Kidde Battery Smoke & CO Alarm
Kidde home safety items provide customers the peace of mind they deserve. This combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm has voice warning to tell you exactly what’s wrong.
Battery-operated alarm won’t be affected by power outages. Voice warning identifies whether it has detected smoke or carbon monoxide. Hush feature silences false alarms.
Recommended to be used in combination with a photoelectric smoke detector for optimum protection
Ionization and Electrochemical
Smoke/CO
40°F to 100°F Ambient
10% to 95% RH (non-condensing)
USI Smoke and Fire Alarm
USI is committed to developing affordable, reliable home safety products. This ionization smoke alarm exemplifies that commitment; a basic, reliable alarm.
Affordable and reliable choice for home fire protection. Silencer button allows you to easily silence false alarms. Can be connected with other units.
Is best at detecting flaming fires. Should ideally be used along with photoelectric smoke detectors for greater protection against smoldering fires.
Ionization
Smoke/Fire
40°F to 100°F Ambient
Avoid Very Humid Areas

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Smoke Detector?

Just like fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, and premium deadbolts, smoke alarms provide an essential layer of safety for your household. In fact, a working smoke alarm can reduce the risk of dying in a burning home by half, and 95 percent of all homes in the United States have one or more installed. But with several different options available, buying the best smoke alarm for your abode can be a tricky affair. Read our smoke alarm buying guide to find the best smoke alarm for your needs.
Price
This range of safety home safety devices aren’t expensive. You can get a cheap smoke alarm for just under $10, though keep in mind that they can be more sensitive to steam from your stove or shower, resulting in false alarms. To give a rough idea, basic battery powered smoke alarms are the least expensive of the bunch, followed by hardwired devices that hook up to your home’s electrical system, multifunctional alarms that double down the protection with just one device and cutting edge smart smoke detectors that deliver alerts via a dedicated app.

Since these devices are fitted for one single reason (to alert the presence of smoke in the house), we highly recommend that you buy a smoke alarm that provides optimal protection around the clock. Given that most of these devices only need to be replaced every 10 years, it’s truly a small price to pay for the peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Features
With so many different types of smoke alarms to choose from, buying the right one is no easy task. Not only do you have to choose between the types of devices available, you also have to choose from the many sensors that power them.

If you’re in the market for a new smoke alarm, or replacing one that’s about to retire, here are a few features to consider:
  • Type of smoke alarm – common options include battery operated, hardwired, multi-functional and smart
  • Type of detection (sensors) – it is important to purchase a smoke alarm that can detect both types of fires – ones that flare and others that smolder. Modern smoke alarms are fitted with one of three sensors namely ionization, photoelectric, and dual.
  • Low battery alerts - when investing in a battery powered smoke alarm, it’s helpful to know when batterie to be replenished (generally every 6 months or so).
  • Alarm sound – most common sound is a piercing and persistent beeping noise, but there are also high end models that have pre-recorded voice commands in addition to the alarm
  • Battery backup – if purchasing a hardwire smoke, check for models that have battery backup in case of electrical power failure.
  • Hush button – silences false alarms
  • Hearing impaired – an alarm that’s ultra loud or fitted with strobe lights
  • Combination smoke alarms – if you live in a home with fuel burning appliances like a water heater, furnace, cooktop, range or grill, consider buying a CO and smoke alarm combo
  • Temperature range – most smoke alarms are suitable for use between 40°F to 100°F
Construction and Design
First thing to consider when buying a smoke alarm is power source. Hardwired smoke alarms generally require professional installation, and connect each smoke alarms in the house. They’re a great choice for large homes or homes with secluded areas where the smoke alarm may not be audible. These will make the alarm sound throughout the home regardless of where the fire occurs. Battery powered smoke alarms do not rely on electrical power and can be installed easily. Batteries usually last 6 months and up to 1 year with lithium ion batteries.

When it comes to types of smoke alarms for the home, there are 3 choices. Ionization smoke alarms contain a very small amount of radioactive material that reacts to certain particles of a fire and sound the alarm accordingly. Due to their high level of sensitivity, this range of smoke alarms should be installed away from your kitchen or bathroom, and work best when fitted in landings, stairwells and offices.

Photoelectric alarms consist of a photocell and light beam that shines away from the cell. These are best suited for common types of house fires such as smoky and smoldering fires. They have to be cleaned occasionally, since coming in contact with dust and insects can cause false alarms. Dual sensor smoke alarms are a combination of sensors, so they’re a good option for most areas in your home.
Performance and Ease of Use
There’s an option to purchase both a smoke alarm and CO sensor, but these only contain one type of sensor (ionization or photoelectric), which is less protection. Before installing a smoke alarm, it’s important to test the battery, which is generally done by pressing a dedicated test button or by shining a torch on the device.

Most high end smoke alarms come with pre-installed non-removable 10-year lithium ion batteries so you won’t need to change the battery every year. However, it’s always a good practice to check on them periodically to ensure they’re in good working order. There are special products available for the hearing impaired such as alarms fitted with strobe lights and ultra loud alarms. There are also smart smoke alarms that send notifications to your cell phone in the event the alarm goes off.

What is the Best Smoke Detector?

Fire protection and home safety is of utmost importance, and it’s an important decision that should be well researched. Our guide will help alleviate some of the stress of picking out new alarms pointing you toward the five best brands for smoke detectors. Out of the units we’ve selected, some use photoelectric sensors, others have ionization sensors, some have both, and a couple have integrated carbon monoxide detectors. Keep in mind that each brand has multiple offerings with different detection abilities and different features, so if you don’t find exactly what you need on our list, they’re sure to offer something else to suit your needs.
Our Top Choice
Nest is well known for its customizable, high-tech thermostat. The smoke, fire, and CO (carbon monoxide) alarm that bears the Nest name brings that comfort and security to home protection. If you’re already sold on the Nest Protect, then you should definitely check out the Nest Thermostat as well.
Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector – Wired and Battery Versions Available, with Wireless Interconnect

Nest Smoke Detector S3000BWES - Battery


Features
Nest caught consumers’ attention with its top-of-the-line thermostat that lets users customize temperature and control it from everywhere. The Nest Protect extends this legacy through quality home protection and convenient features.

The Nest Protect takes home protection to a whole new level with high-tech features and a sleek appearance. We’re impressed that you can stay connected with your Nest all the time via wireless interconnect. Download the app for iOS or Android, and the Nest will let you know if something is wrong.

Here are some of those fancy features we’re talking about:
  • Alerts are sent to your phone when there is an alarm or low battery
  • Voice alarm tells you whether the problem is fire or CO, and lets you know where the problem has been detected
  • Ability to silence false alarms from the app
  • Nightly self-test and nightlight
You can choose black or white and select the battery or wired version, the latter of which comes with a battery backup.
Best Value
First Alert is a well-known and respected name in home protection products, including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. The First Alert dual sensing smoke alarm gives you peace of mind with both photoelectric and ionization sensors. First Alert also offers a combination smoke\/CO alarm.
First Alert Smoke Alarm – Hardwire Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Sensor with Battery Backup

First Alert Smoke Detector 3120B


Features
First Alert is a home protection brand offering a variety of items across product categories including smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, safes, and more.

We chose a First Alert dual sensor smoke/fire alarm to feature because it offers comprehensive protection against both flaming and smoldering fires. This easy-to-install hardwired alarm includes a battery backup to ensure that you’re still protected in the event of a power outage.

In addition to the dual photoelectric/ionization sensor technology, the 3120B smoke detector comes with the following features:
  • Quick-connect wiring harness
  • Two latching features
  • Test button
  • 85-decibel alert
  • Two silence features – low battery silence and alarm silence
This is just one of First Alert’s dozens of smoke and fire alarm models. All offer great home protection, but vary in features and price.
Many businesses and institutions choose Gentex products for fire protection. Our featured smoke alarm has an ultra-bright pulsing light, making it a good choice for hearing-impaired individuals as well as for businesses. If you’re looking for additional fire protection, Gentex also offers a dependable and reasonably priced fire alarm bell.
Gentex Photoelectric Fire Alarm with ADA Strobe, Plug Line Cord with Battery Backup

Gentex Smoke Detector 7139LS


Features
The people of Gentex call themselves “photoelectric pioneers,” and for good reason. In 1974, they introduced the world’s very first dual-cell photoelectric smoke alarm. Since then, they have continued to refine their smoke detectors and other fire protection products, many of which can be found in businesses and schools as well as homes.

We want to highlight this particular smoke alarm because its high-intensity strobe makes it a good choice for the hearing impaired. You’ll also find that it is extremely easy to install with its 9-foot line cord with AC plug.

Features of the Gentex 7139LS include:
  • 9-volt battery backup
  • 3-position test switch
  • Bright strobe light (177 candela rating)
  • Loud, 90 decibel solid-state horn
  • Complies with state, federal, and ADA requirements
Other devices in Gentex’s line of photoelectric smoke alarms with visual signaling feature different mounting and installation types, and some have the ability to interconnect among multiple units.
Kidde makes lots of different safety and security products. We chose this one because it is affordable and has excellent fire and CO sensing capabilities, as well as some convenient extra features. If you don’t need a CO detector but want an alarm with wireless interconnect, you might choose Kidde’s AC hardwired wireless interconnect smoke alarm.
Kidde Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector – Battery Operated Combination Alarm with Voice Warning

Kidde Smoke Detector KN-COSM-BA – 1 Pack


Features
Whether you’re moving into a new home or replacing old smoke alarms, Kidde has you covered with smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and combination alarms.

This particular alarm senses both fire and carbon monoxide, letting you know which it has detected. While it is best used in conjunction with a photoelectric smoke alarm, this unit can definitely make up an important part of an overall home safety system.

Features of the Kidde KN-COSM-BA Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm include:
  • Smart voice alarm that tells you whether the problem is fire or carbon monoxide
  • Hush button to silence false alarms
  • Ionization sensor to detect invisible fire particles
  • Electrochemical sensor to detect the presence of carbon monoxide
  • Low battery warning
Or choose one of Kidde’s other smoke/CO combination alarms, which come in both battery-powered and hardwired varieties.
Home safety products from USI are designed with attention to convenience, ease of use, affordability, and of course protection. We selected a simple but effective model featuring ionization sensors for detecting flaming fires. For homes with natural gas, you may want to choose USI’s 3-in1 smoke, CO, and natural gas alarm.
Universal Security Instruments Ionization Smoke & Fire Detector – AC/DC Wired with Battery Backup

Universal Security Detector USI-1204HA – 1 pack


Features
Universal Security Instruments (USI) has been in the home security business since 1969. We chose this brand because of its wide range of smoke, fire, and combination alarms, many of which are very affordable.

Our featured smoke/fire alarm is a hardwired unit with an ionization sensor ideal for detecting flaming fires. The loud, 85-decibel alarm bell is sure to get your attention if a problem is detected.

While inexpensive, USI’s 1204HA smoke and fire alarm is reliable and has some convenient features as well:
  • 9 Volt Battery Backup
  • Silencer for turning of false alarms
  • Smart interconnect lets unit connect with up to 17 other alarms/li>
  • Green indicator light shows unit is working
USI’s smoke, fire, CO, and natural gas alarms are backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Get the Best Smoke Detector of 2017!

Now that you know more about what to look for in a smoke detector, picking the right one for your home should be a little easier. We’ve selected five innovative, reliable brands that produce great home smoke alarms and other safety products. We hope we’ve pointed you in the right direction in choosing a unit that will ensure peace of mind for years to come.

Our Top Choice
Nest Protect Smoke & CO Alarm
Best Value
First Alert Dual Sensing Smoke Alarm
Gentex 7139LS Smoke Detector
Kidde Battery Smoke & CO Alarm
USI Smoke and Fire Alarm