Smart Smoke Detector Buying Guide

A smoke detector is an electronic device that can detect smoke, the main indicator of a fire. As a result, it emits a sound to warn the occupants of the building.  A smart smoke detector not only triggers an alarm, but also sends a notification to your phone so that you can call emergency services, who can then respond much faster. This device will allow you, your family or employees to leave the home or business premises before it is too late.

Homes and businesses should consider installing and timely maintaining smoke alarms, as these devices can save lives. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are two tools you can use to protect your home and family from these dangers, even if they occur in remote areas of the home or at night when everyone is sleeping. You can buy the devices individually or as combination devices.

Types of Smoke Detectors

There are two main types of smoke detectors for home use: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization Alarms

They contain a very small amount of radioactive material that reacts to the particles produced by a fire and triggers the alarm. Ionization detectors are best at detecting fast-burning fires that produce little visible smoke. However, many home fires tend to smoke and smolder long before they burst into flames, and ionization detectors cannot detect them as quickly. They can also trigger nuisance alarms from cooking and steam, so they should not be placed near the kitchen or bathroom.

Photoelectric Alarms

These contain a photocell and a beam of light that radiates away from the cell. When smoke enters the test chamber, some of the light is scattered by the smoke particles and strikes the cell, triggering the alarm. Photoelectric detectors are best at detecting smoke and smoldering fires, which are common in home fires. The ingress of dust or insects into the device can cause false alarms, so it must be cleaned occasionally.

Dual Sensor Alarms

They contain both an ionization sensor and a photoelectric sensor, combining the best and worst features of both types. They can be a good option, but as with any ionization alarm, do not install them near the kitchen or bathroom.

Other Types of Alarms

There are two other types of home alarms that are useful for certain situations:

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

It is often used to ensure the safe operation of central heating systems. Carbon monoxide is a waste product of gas heating systems. Therefore, if you have a gas heating system (whether with or without an exhaust pipe), you should install a carbon monoxide alarm in case the heating system malfunctions and the carbon monoxide enters your home in dangerous quantities.

Heat Alarms

They are ideal for kitchens because they detect heat rather than smoke and therefore are not prone to nuisance alarms from cooking fumes.

Where to Install a Smoke Detector

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on or near ceilings, and according to the instructions given by the manufacturer.
  • Try and space them at least 3 m from bathrooms, windows, heating appliances, and ceiling fans.
  • Ionization smoke detectors should be installed at least 3 m from the kitchen to avoid false alarms. Otherwise, install a photoelectric smoke detector.
  • Install smoke alarms every 10 m in straight runs so they can cover all spaces of the home equally.
  • Avoid installing smoke alarms in places like corners where there’s “dead air.”
  • Check your province’s fire code regulations to ensure smoke detectors are installed properly and in the right locations.

Key Points to Consider While Buying the Smoke Detectors


The best smoke detectors can detect smoke particles, flames and carbon monoxide. With a multifunctional detector, you save battery life or energy compared to hardwired smoke detectors in your home. Combined smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors are easier to find today than ever before.

Hush Feature

This will silence the alarm for a few minutes until the originator has disappeared without the alarm turning off. In the event of a real emergency, the alarm will sound again.


While classic ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors are helpful, smart smoke detectors are all the rage when it comes to fire safety. They communicate via apps and send alerts to your phone or other mobile devices in the event of an alarm. Smart detectors can also communicate with each other, so you know exactly where the fire is when an alarm goes off. The only downside is that smart devices are more expensive.

Size of your house

If you live in a large home, get a wireless networked smoke alarm system or buy individual smoke alarms that are wired together so they all start buzzing at the same time when one of them detects smoke (read: trouble)! However, people in smaller homes should install smoke alarms in every room of their home, including the attic.


When a smoke alarm is triggered, it can also trigger other devices in the home so that everyone can hear the alarm and respond.

Strobe Detectors

For the hearing impaired, flashing strobe lights can indicate a possible emergency. Some detectors also offer the option of shaking or vibrating the bed.

Insect screen

Most modern smoke detectors are equipped with insect screens to prevent insects from triggering a false alarm. However, it is worth cleaning the smoke detectors with a vacuum cleaner from time to time to ensure that no dust has accumulated in the air inlets, as this could trigger nuisance alarms or even impair the detector’s effectiveness in detecting smoke.

Notification Style

All smart smoke alarms notify their users when a hazard is detected, but the type of notification can vary and have a big impact on the usefulness of the device. Some smart smoke alarms give voice messages that indicate the exact location of the detected hazard as well as the type of smoke gases, while others have color-coded lights that visually signal the type of emergency. All smart smoke alarms send notifications to your smartphone, which you can access at any time, no matter how far away you are from your device.

Power Options

Both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are available as hardwired models that connect to the house wiring or as battery-powered models. Carbon monoxide alarms are also available as models that plug into the wall outlet. Look for a battery backup feature on devices that operate from the mains, so that the device will work in the event of a power outage. Some smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms have built-in power cells that are designed to last the life of the device.

Voice Alert

In addition to the alarm sound, some smoke detectors also have pre-recorded commands such as “Fire, out!”, “Smoke alarm!” or “Low battery alarm”.


A smoke detector connected to the Immediate Response Information System (IRIS) allows you to receive mobile alerts and emails so you are aware of hazards when the alarm is triggered.

Compatibility With Security Alert System

If you have a home security system, you can connect your smoke detector to it to alert authorities more quickly in the event of a fire. However, only some smoke detectors are compatible with certain security systems.


All Smoke Detectors require some level of maintenance, but the amount varies. Regardless of the type of smoke alarm you choose, it is recommended that it be checked for proper operation about once a month.  Battery-operated smoke alarms will need to have their batteries replaced from time to time, which is easier for some models than others. Most models will beep or chirp when the batteries get low. Also, smoke alarms typically only last seven years, so you need to be prepared to replace them when the time comes.

Device Life Span

The service life of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and combination devices depends on factors such as device type, model and installation location. Refer to the manual for specific information on when a device should be replaced.

In general, a smoke detector should be replaced after no more than 10 years and a carbon monoxide detector after no more than five years. The life of combination devices is typically between five and seven years. When a device indicates the end of its service life, it must be replaced immediately.

Ease of Installation

Most smoke alarms are so easy to install that many people manage to do it without consulting a professional. This is especially true of battery-powered smoke alarms, which are the easiest to install if you don’t want to mess with a complicated installation process.

Hardwired smoke alarms are more complicated, so take the time to read up on the installation of the smoke alarm you’re considering to make sure you’re up to the challenge. User reviews can be a good way to get an idea of the particular challenges that may be associated with installing certain models.


If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, this shouldn’t be a problem. It is possible to find functional smoke detectors that cost only about $10. However, many people will want to spend a little more to get some important features and quality upgrades. If you want a smoke detector that uses both of the technologies described above for detection, or at least one that uses photoelectric technology, which is generally more effective, then you should spend a little more.

If you want a smoke detector that also includes a CO2 alarm (which is recommended unless you already have a separate CO2 detector), then your cost will also be a bit higher. And if you want a smart smoke detector that will notify you of a fire even when you’re not home, you’ll be in the most expensive category of all.

More features, more functionality, and a longer lifespan are more expensive, but they also offer more convenience and safety. If you can afford to spend more money, it could pay off in the event of a fire, but if you’re short on cash, it’s better to have a smoke alarm in the first place than to go without.


Smart smoke detectors are a great way to make your home a safe place, but with so many options it can be hard to choose one. Hopefully, this buying guide will provide you with some useful information to help you make a final decision. The number of smart detectors needed depends on the size and layout of your home. The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing a smoke detector “inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.”

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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