10 Best Smoke Detectors of 2018: Buying Guide & Reviews
Best Smoke Detector: No home security system is complete without a smoke detector and alarm system. However, the sad truth is that many homeowners tend to forego this crucial addition to their home. But one look at the related data will definitely lead you to change your mind. While you are busy trying to keep your house safe from intruders, some of the most dangerous situations can arise from inside the four walls of your house. From open flames to being less cautious while smoking a cigarette, the biggest of fires may be sparked with the smallest of sources. According to the NFPA, having no best smoke detectors and alarm system installed (or having a non-working one) has resulted in more deaths than homes where the system had been armed and working. Moreover, homes without working smoke alarm systems have twice as much death statistics when compared to those with it. So as one can very well understand, your home's safety measures are hopelessly incomplete without a fully functional smoke alarm system. Here, we take a look at the ten best smoke alarms of 2018 for homes that you can buy to make your home the haven that you aim for.
Why Do You Need A Smoke Detector?
A smoke detector is usually a fairly small, disc-shaped object that can be easily installed in a home. And if you do not have one yet, you are making a mistake. For with all the complex circuitry running through our homes, it is not impossible for a fire to break out at some point in time or the other. And that is all the riskier when that happens at night, when you are peacefully asleep in your bed, oblivious to the fact that a fire has broken out in your house. Having a smoke detector installed will let you know of the trouble brewing well in advance, and give you ample time to A) try to get the situation under control, B) alert the authorities in time before much damage can occur, and C) have a sound escape without having experienced any harm. If you think that the smell of the smoke will alert you even if you are sleeping, the loss of oxygen and rising carbon monoxide levels will make you go into a state of unconsciousness, making it impossible to wake up. Best smoke detectors systems are individually battery operated, ensuring that they go off upon picking up a signal even when there is no electricity.
How Do Best Smoke Detectors Work?
Smoke detectors usually come in two kinds- the ones that detect smoke optically, and the ones that utilize ionization method. Both incorporate complex technology to ensure that you are alerted when a fire breaks out. The first category, commonly known as the Optical smoke detector, has an infrared light, which upon detecting smoke, can send a signal to the main detector, thereby making the alarm sound. The other kind, called Ionization smoke detector, which picks up on the smoke being emitted physically from the fire. If you are wondering which one is a better option, then most experts are of the opinion that ionization smoke detectors are more reliable than the former. It is also the latter kind that you will find installed in most homes. However, there is also the dual sensor systems which utilize both methods for optimum effectiveness.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Smoke Detector
Buying the best smoke detector for the safety of your home is no joke. However, it isn't half as complex a choice as you would imagine. Considering that it is an essential piece of equipment to guarantee the safety of your family and yourself, it is imperative that you know exactly the kind that you need for your home. This ranges from everything, like setups to the extra features that you want for maximum protection. So without further ado, let us get into it.
What Kind of Sensors? We have already told you in the section above that there are mainly two types of sensors in a modern system. While preferences are tipped to one side of the scale, both optical and ionization detectors cater to specific purposes. For instance, optical sensors are better and quicker at detecting more smoke while ionization units are best for smaller fires. However, it is incredibly difficult to know which one to pick out because you will not know at the time what kind of fire stands the more chance to break out in your home. Thankfully, however, manufacturers did not wait too long to combine the two together to make what is considered to be the most reliable kind. So we recommend going for dual sensor unit that will be ready to pick up any kind of signal that appears first. The best smoke detectors will also let you know the details of the situation vocally.
Connectivity: If this is your first time installing the best smoke detector system, you need to find out everything about the different types that are available. The most common type of systems is the hardwired sort, which is installed into your home's electrical system. While these would stand the chance of going inactive when your electricity is down, most units come with a backup battery system to keep them from failing to act. This means that hardwired systems are, in fact, some of the most reliable equipment that you can install in your home. On the downside, they need an expert to be installed, so if you aren't a pro, you will need the help of an electrician.
For DIYers, there is the option of battery-powered smoke detectors, which are much easier to install because of their less complex power source. Because they are powered by batteries, another notable thing is that their functionality will not be dependent on your home's main power source. So your alarm will be ready to alert you even when there is a power shortage. However, there is one important thing to note here. Many of the deaths that occur from fire in the US in homes with a smoke detector installed can be blamed on the batteries not being replaced in a long time. So if you choose to go with battery powered units, you should be vigilant of their battery status and any potential failures. Otherwise, one can go with the lithium battery options that need replacing in their entirety over longer periods of time.
There is another kind that is quickly becoming the best smoke detector system according to their buyers. Otherwise known as smart smoke detectors, these are expensive. But these come with dedicated apps that connect the alarm to your mobile device to quickly alert you as soon as it picks up something awry. This way, you will get to know of the situation in your home and alert the authorities even if you are not physically there.
Installation: One of the determining factors in making your selection is the manner of installation. While hardwired models need an expert to mount them, you need to get professional help. But make sure you read the manufacturer's guide as to where it should be installed and then proceed. Because while traditional smoke detectors are usually mounted onto the ceiling, many of the newer models can be mounted on the walls. This holds especially true for some of the battery operated models and smart models. The installation depends on the kind of detectors a unit uses, so installing one that is meant for wall-mounting up on the ceiling may be the trigger for the lack of prevention.
Where To Install: Finally, when it comes to the best smoke alarms for home, you need to know the basics of installation. The first thing you need to know is that a smoke detector should be placed near or on the ceiling because smoke rises upwards. Another thing to know is that installing your smoke alarm in a place that casts a lot of smoke or steam on a regular basis (kitchen or bathroom) will just end up causing a false alarm. Also, it is a good idea to keep them away from doors and windows, as these may end up misleading the signals.
How Many: This is dependent on a number of factors, such as how big your house is, or how many levels it has. It may even depend on the efficiency of the smoke detector that you buy, or if you are particularly concerned about being alerted as soon as possible. The norm is to have at least one alarm on a floor, with each floor also being armed with at least one system. However, if you have your unit set up in a room other than the one that catches fire, it will take some time for the smoke to travel and thus the system to send you an alert. If that is what you are concerned about, then you may want to install one unit in every room, especially if you have a large house with bigger than average room sizes.
Best Smoke Detectors of 2018 Buying Guide
Now that you are equipped with some basic knowledge about how to go about buying the best smoke detectors and alarm system, we have compiled a list of the top ten smoke alarm buys for those in the US. Note that there are but a handful of manufacturers who helm the production of these units, so you may find several models from one particular company, depending on their efficiency.
If you are looking to get your hands on an all-around smoke detector that is smart enough to keep you updated with 4 different sensors, no matter wherever you are, then the Roost RSA 400 should be your system of choice. This easy to set up unit connects seamlessly over WiFi to a dedicated app that you can download to your phone. The alarm sends notifications about all things concerning atmospheric safety details directly to your phone through the app so that you need not miss out on anything.
Moreover, you can also invite other people to monitor your alarm so that you have complete pease while you are away. Coming to the sensors, the Roost RSA 400 smoke detector is more than the standard smoke detector carbon monoxide combo because it is armed with four different sensors to detect smoldering fires, fast-burning fires, carbon monoxide presence, and methane traces to ensure that you are safe from all kinds of mishaps. The model is hardwired, but the battery backup system ensures minimal chances of failure. On top of that, there is a proprietary microprocessor technology on board that reduces the chances of false alarms.
- Best smoke alarms for home
- Battery alerts sound well in advance
- Reduced chances of false alarms
- Easy to install and use
- While the app indicates the smoke location, it does not detect the type
Verdict: The Roost RSA-400 Hardwired Smart Smoke/Fire/CO/Natural Gas Alarm is a great smart and best smoke detector to have in your house if you wish to stay on top of all kinds of fire safety-related issues. The app is easy to navigate, and the fact that you can invite others to monitor your system, while not entirely practical, makes for an appealing idea and peace of mind. Buyers do not have much to complain about with this unit, and neither do we.
First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup
First Alert is a company that makes the best rated smoke detectors. The First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Sensor Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup offers the best of both worlds in more than a single way. To begin with, it packs in two of the most reliable and widely used technologies to help detect all kinds of fires in the shortest amount of time so that you don't miss out on anything. Thanks to the combination of dual photoelectric and ionization sensors, you will come to know about slow or fast-burning fires in no time at all. Moreover, this hardwired model comes with a battery backup system which ensures that the unit continues to work even through a power outage. It is arguably one of the best smoke detectors (critically acclaimed) of 2018.
The batteries that are required (two AA-sized batteries) come included with your purchase. This particular model has left many happy customers in its wake due to its abilities to test the unit on a regular basis as well as weeding out the possibilities of a false alarm. It can also pair up with other BRK 3210B units and work together to keep you completely safe from potentially dangerous situations. Installation is not overly complicated; you just need to keep it away from the kitchen and up on the ceiling to keep potential false alarms from beeping.
- Reliable dual-sensor make
- Battery backup
- Can connect with other units
- No carbon monoxide detection
Verdict: If you are looking to install a reliable and efficient unit in your home for maximum protection, you can go with the First Alert BRK 3120B Hardwire Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Sensor Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup. While the beeping can get on your nerves, you can easily silence them to keep from being bothered. One of the best smoke detectors hard wired, we find its backup system to be especially crucial for unfailing performance.
Kidde Battery-Operated Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm KN-COSM-BA
One of the most trusted names in terms of manufacturing home safety equipment is Kidde, and their KN-COSM-BA model is undoubtedly one of the most popular options you will get. Preferred by those who are more inclined on a battery-operated smoke detector, this unit combines the functionality of a traditional smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor to keep you from possible harm. The fact that it is really easy to install is an added bonus, which means that with a little help from the instructions provided by the manufacturer, you will be able to set this up by yourself.
What users will find most pleasing is that it does away with the alarm system that most other units utilize and instead opts for a voice alarm to keep things less intimidating. Moreover, the voice is better at communicating what kind of danger is being sensed at the time. It also happens to be better at waking you up from sleep than other systems because of this. If that is not all, there is a hush mode that allows you to silence the alarm in case of alerts other than emergencies. So all in all, it is a great package to have around. However, you cannot link one unit to others, so having different ones installed in separate rooms will not be synchronized.
- Best smoke detector carbon monoxide combo
- Easy to install
- Checks itself continuously to keep from malfunctioning suddenly
- No photoelectric sensor
Verdict: Popular user opinion suggests that the Kidde Battery-Operated Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning KN-COSM-BA are some of the safest, most reliable, and best smoke detectors carbon monoxide combos to have in your house. However, if you would prefer to go for a hardwired unit or a dual sensor unit instead, then this one is probably not for you. In that case, you can take a look at some of the other options listed here.
Nest Protect Smoke Detector Carbon Monoxide Combo
The Nest Protect, being easily regarded as the best smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, is one of the biggest favorites in modern homes. The best feature of the Nest Protect is easily the fact that it connects over WiFi to let you known about everything need to be aware of to keep your home safe from potential fires. It is a great all-in-one product that detects smoke as well as the presence of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere and immediately lets you know. Another very important thing that it keeps homeowners updated about is the status of its battery so that you never run the risk of thinking you are protected while you are not.
It communicates its findings with voiced messages, which clarify what it has detected and where it has detected it. The device keeps on working at all times, constantly monitoring the atmosphere around, picking up CO signals, and checking its own status so that you can go about your day without needing to worry. Coming to the installation, setting the battery-powered Nest Protect is pretty simple, although you may need assistance if you choose to buy the hardwired option. If you want to install multiple units in separate rooms, all units will function together in synchronicity.
- Best smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector
- Connects to Android, iOS and other major platforms
- Color-coded LED flashes to keep you updated
- Easy installation
- Loud alarms throughout the day will be a complaint
Verdict: If you want a flashy best smoke detector carbon monoxide combo and don't mind one that will alert you about everything multiple times a day, then you can buy the Nest Protect. The voiced messages come in clearly, and the over the phone updates are especially comforting when you are away from home. If the sounds get too much for you, you can always choose to silence them. But it is best not to ignore the updates.
Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm works only with iPhones and iPads, so Android users will hardly find its smart smoke detector abilities useful. However, for iOS users, it is a very neat system to have at home for increased peace of mind. First Alert's app is well designed and easy to navigate, making keeping an eye on your home at all timeless of a task. Despite being a hardwired model, it is relatively easy to set up as it is capable of replacing most 120-volt AC hardwired alarms with no added rewiring thanks to its adapter plugs.
The backup battery that it comes with is sealed within the unit and therefore does not require replacing within 10 years. After the stipulated time, however, you should reinstall an entirely fresh system. It also has a voice alarm system that is far less annoying than the obscure beeps as it tells you the source of the smoke as well as the nature of it. It also has a nightlight on board which you have the option of using if need be. Otherwise, simply dim it out. You can hook it up to other Onelink units as well so that all alarms end up sounding as one in case of an emergency.
- Great smart alarm system for iOS users
- Sealed in battery needs to be replaced once in ten years
- Extra features such as dimmable nightlight make for added convenience
- No Android support
Verdict: The Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Hardwired, Apple HomeKit-enabled system is the complete best smoke detector set up for Apple device users who like to have more than just a basic smoke alarm system installed. It is easy to be installed despite being hardwired, and the First Alert name is enough to guarantee that it functions as promised. Overall, it is a great self-sufficient unit that those who don't want to be bothered by battery alerts can make great use of.
USI Electric MICN109 Hardwired 3-in-1
The MICN109 model from manufacturers Universal Security Instruments, a best rated smoke detector manufacturer, is one of the most preferred smoke detectors hard wired across the US because of the host of conveniences and safety measures it combines in one small nifty tool. This 120-volt AC/DC hardwired model is compatible with the electrical systems installed in most homes and can detect three kinds of hazardous situations seamlessly. Its functionality is spread across detecting fast-spreading fires, detection of carbon monoxide, and even natural gas to eliminate all kinds of risks.
The unit is rather practical, as it comes with 4 different LED settings to let you know what kind of danger it is picking up along with the degree of threat. Thanks to its backup battery for power emergencies, you will never miss out on an important notification even when the lights are out. The best part is that you can easily set each of these ones up in different rooms to stay on top of hazardous situations. This is because this best smoke detector carbon monoxide combo can be interconnected with up to 24 compatible units so all of them can function as one. Also, because smoke alarms are a long-term investment, the USI Electric MICN109 Hardwired 3-in-1 Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas Alarm comes with up to ten years of manufacturer's warranty against malfunctionings.
- Three in one sensors are good for detecting most dangers
- Thoughtful build to make installation easier
- Warranty of up to ten years
- No Photoelectric sensor for smoldering fires
Verdict: The USI Electric MICN109 Hardwired 3-in-1 Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Natural Gas Alarm comes with most of the features that are highly desirable in a combination alarm and the fact that it detects even small levels of natural gas gives it an edge in safety. If you want to install one unit in every room and want them all to be synchronized together, then you could go for one of the best-rated smoke detectors with this one.
Kidde i4618 Firex Hardwired Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup
Another great hardwired smoke detector comes in the form of the Kidde i4618 model, which includes many of the best smoke detector features to ensure optimum safety. This hardwired smoke alarm with battery backup relies on both an electrical home circuit and a backup battery to ensure that it works even when there is no power. Changing the battery, when it runs low, is also comparatively simple for the flap is on the front side. However, unlike the USI model listed above, it is not a multi-functioning unit.
The Kidde i4618 only relies on a sole ionization technology to detect fast-burning fires, but you may have to opt for another unit to be able to detect other kinds of fires and gas levels. It can interconnect with other similar units, and these can be set up across the home to ensure maximum protection and alertness. It can also connect with a range of other home security systems from Kidde's entire range to work as one broad home protection system. It also features the trademark hush system that can be used to manually desensitize the alarm for up to 8 minutes. This helps prevent those woeful false alarm situations that can arise from a little kitchen smoke. There is also a test button feature on board to keep a tab on smoke alarm operation
- One of the best smoke detectors hard wired
- Hush system can desensitize alarm for a while
- Easy battery replacement
- Can be interconnected with Kidde's home security products
- Only one type of detection
Verdict: The Kidde i4618 Firex Hardwired Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup is a pretty basic model to have installed, but rest assured knowing that it works just as well as it claims. False alarm situations are relatively less with this model than several others, and at the price it comes for, it is a good secondary alarm to have installed in your home to ensure maximum protection. If you've made up to your mind to install the best smoke detectors for your house, then you can surely opt for this one.
Universal Security Instruments SS-776-CAN-3 Battery-Operated Ionization Smoke and Fire Alarm
As our second inclusion from USI, the Universal Security Instruments SS-776-CAN-3 Battery-Operated Ionization Smoke and Fire Alarm is a serious contender in our list of the best smoke alarms of the ionization variety that one can find. Although it doesn't come with all the fanciness of the Nest Protect, in many ways, it is nearly the complete safety system that you may need for total peace of mind. Like the Kidde unit above, this too is an ionization smoke alarm, meaning that it is deft at detecting spreading fires so that you can nip the risk in the bud. It can respond very fast in such a situation, making it a very reliable unit.
This three pack comes with an included 9-volt battery and can be installed without any drilling or wiring required. It is completely battery powered, so you must keep a check on the status of the power unit to resist against unwanted hazards. However, to make your job easier, it has a battery indicator on board that is quite unintrusive compared to some other units. It is thoughtfully designed to keep out corroding agents, and also has a test button feature so that you can be assured of the status of the alarm at all times. With the silencer button, you can temporarily silence the alarm so that it doesn’t act upon the presence of steam and kitchen smoke.
- Great all-rounded ionization best smoke detector
- Very easy to install
- No photoelectric sensor
Verdict: This three pack buy of the Universal Security Instruments SS-776-CAN-3 Battery-Operated Ionization Smoke and Fire Alarm is a great way to be safe and at the same time keep nuisance alarms from destroying your peace of mind on a holiday when you're barbecuing. Extra points go towards the extremely easy installation and thoughtful contaminant resisting build. All in all, it is a very secure and reliable alarm to have installed.
First Alert SCO500B ONELINK Battery Operated Combination Alarm
The First Alert SCO500B makes up another addition to the company's ONELINK line of products that guarantee a well-rounded security system for your home. Not only can it be seamlessly connected to all other products in the range, but also provides some of the greatest peace of mind that you can think of. This best smoke detector carbon monoxide combo system can be installed without rupturing the walls of your, thanks to the battery-powered operation. However, installation of ONELINK products can be a bit of a task, especially for those who aren't used to it.
Nevertheless, the SCO500B provides excellent smoke detection with the help of its photoelectric sensor and electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor. The latter one even endeavors to keep you more educated on that front with a detailed ppm reading. An added bonus is the fact that you can localize the voice to any one unit in an interconnected ecosystem. One qualm is that the instructions are not adequate, but you can find detailed guides on the web for a visual aid.
- Works excellent with the ONELINK ecosystem
- Wireless installation
- Poor instructions
- Set up can be messy for beginners
Verdict: The First Alert SCO500B (Series SCO500) ONELINK Battery Operated Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Location system is great for preventing a dire situation and alerting the user well in advance. Additional features include a silencer for prevention of false alarms, test button, and a low battery warning. There is also a seven-year warranty on offer. You can set up an entire fleet of these in your home to ensure maximum protection.
Leeo Smart Alert Smoke/CO Remote Alarm Monitor for iOS and Android
You may have the best smoke detector for your home set up in your house, but what about monitoring those alarms for heightened safety? If you have never considered this question, then you need to take a look at the Leeo Smart Alert Smoke/CO Remote Alarm Monitor System. This device isn't actually a smoke detector, but a complete monitoring system that doubles as a smart alert system. That is, even if you do not have a smart alert installed.
The Leeo Smart Alert Smoke/CO Remote Alarm Monitor is compatible with both iOS and Android and can wirelessly connect to your phone. Upon doing so, it will keep you updated at all times about the status of your alerts. If it detects any of the alerts going off, be they smoke, CO, humidity, or anything else, the Leeo device will immediately alert you. It functions in a few distinct steps, beginning with a pop on your phone. It will escalate the alerts if the initial ones go unnoticed. Moreover, installation is extremely easy: just plug in, connect, and that's it. No batteries or hardwiring required.
- Best smart monitor for your alarms
- Extremely simple installation
- May not work with a lot of smoke detector models, so be sure to clarify before you buy
Verdict: The Leeo Smart Alert Smoke/CO Remote Alarm Monitor for iOS and Android is far more than being a good looking device to be set up in your home. In today's smart and interconnected world, it is good to have the assurance that any anomaly will be reported directly to the one device we all are likely to have on us all day. It can even dial the authorities for you in case none of its alerts are responded to, although some reviewers advise against it. Nevertheless, this is what you should go for as the last line in your smoke detector defense.
We have included some of the best smoke detector brands in the business which have several extremely reliable products available. The products we have listed are the most popular and widely used ones owing to their ease of installation, functionality, multiple sensors, and other things. Brands like First Alert, Kidde, and USI have been around for a long time and know how to make the best smoke detector of 2018 for kitchen use, homes, and commercial usage, and our guide has been compiled to make that choice easier for you. If you have any questions regarding the products or brands, let us know. Also, leave your valuable suggestions for how we make our service better for your use.