Smart Detection Systems Warn of CO More Danger

Smart detection systems enhance the likelihood that you will be alerted if  carbon monoxide poisoning is detected in your home by sending a warning to all of your connected devices. CO alarms don’t work unless they are heard by people. Smart detection systems increase the probability that someone hears the call. 

By Rebecca Martin

The future of carbon monoxide and smoke detection is becoming increasingly enmeshed with advancing technology, smart detection systems for CO. Smart detection systems are making technology news due to the wide range of applications, and the potential to become integrated in emerging technologies. Smart sensor technology is touted for its high reliability and performance and we can expect to see it entering more and more aspects of our everyday personal and professional lives. Smart detection systems reaches into environmental and health applications and will eventually be involved with the construction of advances like smart highways.

Smart detection systems for carbon monoxide poisoning.

 Smart detection systems increase the probability that someone hears the carbon monoxide warning as they multiply the number of devices that sound the alarm.

This leaves us with three major questions about Smart detection systems for home environmental use: i.e., what is its current performance of smoke and carbon monoxide detection systems, how much are we spending for such systems in the early stages of the market and can we expect the technology to surge if we choose to adapt such technologies now?

An Alarm must be Heard by Human Ears

Traditional non-hardwired and hardwired carbon monoxide detectors rely on an alarm system to alert residents of a home or commercial facility to the presence of levels which are harmful to health. The drawbacks of using an alarm system is that the residents must be in hearing range and be non-hearing-impaired. There is also a risk that someone may be sleeping too heavily to react to an alarm. There is also the possibility that such incidents may occur while the area is unoccupied, for instance while one is at work. The alarm sounding that no one hears is especially a problem in a large building with a single alarm in the boiler system, such as a hotel. Click here for more on Hotel Carbon Monoxide harzards.

Smart Detection Systems Increase Probability Alarm Will be Heard

Smart detection systems detectors also sound a loud alert to the presence of carbon monoxide and in addition send the alert to a cellphone. This allows the system to alert even when no one is present in the home and can be a lifesaver for pets and an early warning for neighbors in multi-unit homes. One of the drawbacks we can see in this scenario might be a person’s forgetting to reset a system when changing cellphones or numbers. We can only assume that most homeowners who have invested in a smart home security system will routinely run checks on the system and be aware that settings might need to be adjusted should a number or device change.  What happens during a power outage when the user may not have access to Wi-Fi? Some smart detectors can switch to blue tooth or cellular data to communicate with your smartphone. They can also be tied into home security systems which are capable of alerting during a power outage.

Adding Listeners to Smart Detection Systems

Smart detection systems can also be enhanced by adding “listeners” to your home system. These devices merely listen for the sound of more traditional detectors going off and are often recommended for very large homes which require the installation of several detectors.

“The drawback to using a listener is that because it doesn’t actually communicate with the smoke detector, you can’t silence false alarms. You also miss out on the carbon monoxide detection, self-monitoring of battery life, and sensor function features.”

However, listeners are a good alternative if factoring the cost of replacing your system over time as opposed to having to invest in replacement of an entire system all at once.

Consumer Reports  lists three smart co detection systems for 2021.

  • The First Alert Onelink Smart 1042135 connects directly too Wi-Fi. It comes in both battery-powered and hardwired versions and works with both Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit Siri for voice and app control. But it is recommended to pair this with an ionization sensor as this unit will not detect flaming fires. The cost was between $28.37 to $116.95.
  • The second recommendation is the First Alert Smart ZCOMBO-G which also requires an additional ionization sensor to sense flaming fire. This is a battery powered system which uses Z-Wave to connect and requires an additional in-home hub to connect to the internet and your smartphone. It runs between $46.75 to $54.65.
  • The third system receiving high reviews is the Google Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide which is also Wi-Fi compatible. It also requires the use of a separate ionization sensor to detect flames. It comes in both a battery-powered and hardwired version. This unit costs between $116.66 and $118.97 according to Consumer Reports.

These three examples of smart combo smoke and co detection systems also come with the advice to check thoroughly which devices are compatible with your existing alarm system. And they are best used in conjunction with a device for detecting flame fires for which they are poorly equipped.

Smart Detectors Get Good Reviews

The New York Times lists high reviews for smart detectors in general, not only for their ability to send warnings to your smartphone when away from home but also because they send early alerts to replace batteries. In addition, because they are easily managed through an app they can be silenced in the event of a cooking mishap. They quote Wirecutter’s top pick for smoke alarms as the Google Nest Protect which also alerts you to where in the home the problem is coming from and tests the system itself monthly.

“More than just alerting you to fire, a smart smoke alarm that’s compatible with other smart devices you own (or may purchase later) can be set up to perform other life-saving tasks, like shutting down your HVAC system during a fire, turning on your cameras to record, unlocking your front doors, and turning on smart lighting to make it easier for you to get out and firefighters to get in.”

The bottom line is that smart smoke/co detectors can be expensive. In that vein, listeners may be the immediate solution currently. The Ring – Alarm Smoke & CO Listener has several good reviews online. Its easily installed near existing alarm systems and the major drawback seems to be that it is not easily disarmed in the event of a false alarm such as a cooking accident. As with all devices they should be installed with compatible systems.

Keep in mind that the Listener device itself does not have a smoke or co detector. It is designed to detect smoke and co detectors already installed in your home which have sounded.

If you choose to replace an entire system for a new smart system, one must also consider that this is new emerging technology that is projected to grow immensely over the next few years and it is possible that costs will be coming down. We will see these systems more commonly integrating with other home technology as well. It will soon be commonplace for such systems to do everything from open the doors, shut of the HVAC, alert emergency services and turn on lights for emergency exit. Though this technology exists now, such a system is costly to install. Smart detectors are  current technology, which is heralded as an improvement over standalone detectors, however, as they alert us whether or not we are home or in earshot of more traditional detection systems. If undecided about the decision to invest, listeners are a good interim alternative. The peace of mind offered with smart detectors which alert us to dangers whether home or not may just be worth the money.



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