Safety Tools

How Many Smart Smoke Detectors Do You Need

You are welcome to this review. Are you having intentions of getting a smart smoke detector for your home, and don’t know how many you need? It can be quite frustrating not having this information. This is why we have decided to make this review on the number of smart smoke detectors you need in your home. Do well to read through, you’ll get the information you seek.

What Is a Smart Smoke Detector?

A smart smoke alarm is a device that can communicate with your home security system when the device detects the presence of smoke.

By utilizing connective technology, smart smoke detectors can be accessed through many mobile devices and apps, and allow homeowners to remotely monitor emergencies, receive notifications on home status, interconnect home devices, and even use voice commands to shut off the alarm.

Smart smoke and heat sensors that are part of a smart security system enable absent homeowners to visually check on their homes through real-time video from indoor security cameras.

The system also allows homeowners to silence the alarm from their smartphones if no danger is apparent, which also informs the monitoring service that an event is a non-emergency and stops them from dispatching the fire department.

Incidentally, that remote silencing feature can come in handy if smoke and heat sensors are accidentally triggered while you’re home. This feature is appreciated by anyone who has struggled to silence a blaring smoke detector on the ceiling by jabbing its button with a broomstick.

If a system is professionally monitored instead of self-monitored, it provides even greater protection. For example, if you have a Frontpoint-monitored system, personnel will call you to verify the emergency when a smoke and heat sensor is triggered.

If there is no answer or an incorrect passcode is provided, emergency services will be dispatched to your home immediately—providing 24-hour protection, seven days per week—whether you are away, sleeping, injured, or otherwise indisposed.

Homeowners can also receive push notifications when a sensor’s batteries are low through the smart security system’s app as well as if a sensor goes completely offline—ensuring continuous protection and avoiding that torturous chirping that traditional smoke detectors seem to only emit in the middle of the night.

These sensors work in tandem with other smart security system features as well; for instance, the system can automatically turn on smart lights when smoke and heat sensors sound to illuminate escape routes and help homeowners identify the problem.

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.

How many smart detectors do I need?

The number of smart detectors you need depends on the size and layout of your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing a smoke alarm “inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.”

CO alarms have similar requirements, so you don’t have to worry about installing extra detectors anywhere you wouldn’t normally place a smoke alarm. You’re not required to replace every device with a smart version, but note that by mixing smart detectors and non-smart detectors, important functions are lost — like the ability to alert you to the specific room that smoke has been detected in.

The similarities between the following smoke safety devices start and end with one main function — when your smoke alarm sounds, you’ll get a push notification to your phone, whether you’re home or away.

How they do this, what else they do, and how many smoke alarms you can cover with a single device vary widely from category to category, and even within the categories themselves.

Here are the different types of devices you can use to alert you from afar when your smoke detector sounds.

  • Smart smoke detectors:

The most obvious way to add smarts to your smoke detectors is to replace the device itself with an internet-connected version. Led in popularity by the Nest Protect, your choices include models from First Alert, Halo Smart Labs, and Roost. More options are on the way from Birdi and Netatmo.

Wholesale replacement is the most expensive and comprehensive solution, but you’ll usually get conveniences like being able to silence false alarms from an app and push notification when the batteries are low so you don’t have to deal with chirping. The Nest Protect, First Alert, and Roost models we tested also include carbon monoxide detection.

  • Listeners:

Plug one of these into your wall and it’ll listen for the specific frequency of detectors’ alarms and send you an alert when it hears something. If you have a small home, you probably won’t actually save much money with a listening device.

Since none of these devices talk directly to your smoke detectors, you won’t get any help mitigating annoyances like false alarms or low battery chirps. You’ll start to see the cost advantages of a listener if you have a big home and you want complete connected coverage, as a single device can cover upwards of a floor of your home.

So instead of having to replace the smoke detector in every bedroom, you can put one listener in the hallway and be done with it.

Installing Smart Smoke Detectors

Installation of smart smoke detectors depends on whether they are battery-powered or hard-wired. Battery-powered smart smoke detectors are the easiest to install as you can mount them on any wall (or ceiling) the same way you would any other item such as a painting or decorative shelf.

If you are installing more than one, it’s best to insert the batteries in all of them and perform testing and pairing first before mounting them on the wall (for testing and pairing, the devices will come with step-by-step instructions for you to follow).

Hard-wired smart smoke detectors require you to turn off the power to your home at the breaker box while you remove your old hard-wired traditional smoke detectors and follow the instructions to connect your smart detectors.

If you are unsure of anything when installing hard-wired smart smoke detectors, it’s best to request assistance or hire someone with electrical know-how to ensure correct installation.

Benefits Of Having A Smart Smoke Detector

  • Don’t wait for smoke signals.

Undetected fires can rip through a modern home in only a few minutes. Smart smoke detectors include Smoke Detectors equipped with photoelectric sensors to sound the alarm when increased heat or smoke get detected, so you’ll know about fire danger even before you smell the smoke.

  • Smoke Detector keeps working in power outages.

Fire danger increases when power outages lead to burning candles and kerosene heaters and cooking on outdoor stoves inside. When you combine wireless Smoke Detectors with the backup battery, your fire alarms keep working no matter what the weather does.

  • The tools to take action no matter where you are.

If a fire breaks out while you’re at work, you’ll still be the first to know. Connecting your Smoke Detector to a complete smart home system provides not only an audible fire alarm but also notifications sent to your smartphone.

  • How your smart home reacts to fire alarms.

When there’s nothing else to do but evacuate the family, having a connected smart home helps. Smoke alarms trigger your smart thermostat to cut off airflow to slow the spread of fire. And smart door locks will open automatically to clear your path to safety.

  • Reliability and Battery Life

More often than not, it is recommended that people change their smoke detector batteries a few times per year. However, with smart smoke detectors, you can be assured that they will last much longer when running on a new battery. Additionally, you can check the power level of your smart smoke detectors at any time through the use of the application.

Ultimately, installing smart smoke detectors in your home will provide you with a variety of different benefits that are not matched by other smoke detector options.

An added benefit is that, in addition to smoke notifications, smart smoke alarms can send low-battery warnings long before they run out—which means you’ll never have to hear those annoying middle-of-the-night chirps again. Smart smoke alarms also allow you to silence the alarm using the app when you’ve burned dinner, rather than having to swing around a broom and hope for a lucky shot.


A complete security system goes beyond just break-ins and includes a network of smoke detectors to alert you in the event of a fire, so you can get to safety as quickly as possible.

And smart home technology has improved immensely over the last decade. Today smart smoke alarms alert you of sudden rises in temperature before smoke or fire are detected. They can also send an immediate notification to your smartphone if the batteries are low.

Most importantly, a smart home system protects your home, even when you’re not there to smell smoke or hear an alarm. Whether you’re on vacation or running errands, your smart smoke detectors send notifications regarding heat, smoke, and fire to your smartphone and alert first responders.