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Smart smoke detector thinks before it speaks


A fire is a homeowner’s worst nightmare – there are no ifs, ands or buts about it. And everyone who owns a home knows that the first line of defense against fire is having a smoke detector.

As technology is advancing in so many ways, more and more homeowners across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are always on the hunt to find the best smoke detectors that provides that extra level of safety for their families and properties. There are all sorts of smoke detectors out there, but a new one just launched and it will undoubtedly be a ‘hot’ device on the market and one widely sought after among homeowners and condo owners too.

Called Nest Protect, this smoke detector is smart on many levels. It even comes with a carbon monoxide sensor. What makes this new smart smoke detector so unique is that you can control it and get all the notifications right on your smartphone through the free Nest Protect app. The device even has a human voice that gives you and your family members an early warning when it detects smoke and unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

What makes this sleek, stylish and smart device for your ceiling so unique is that it is equipped with a high-tech split spectrum sensor that detects smoke much quicker, which is a big step-up from traditional smoke detectors used over the last 40 years that utilize photoelectric or ionization technologies.

The split spectrum sensor is able to pick up shorter wavelengths and this is very important because homes being built nowadays burn much faster. Homes are now designed bigger and have more open style floor plans, and they are made with more composite construction materials and more polyurethane and synthetic furnishings which burn faster than materials used decades ago.

The sensor technology uses two wavelengths of light – one being a blue LED light – that instantly detects fast-burning and smoldering fires. And it also knows if bugs or debris get in it so you never have to worry about false alarms.

In the event the device’s alarm goes off you will get an instant notification on your smartphone. You can also ‘hush’ the alarm through your smartphone without any extra hardware. The device has a human voice that gives you alerts while you are at home through its built-in speaker system. In the event your toaster is on fire, you will hear three chimes ring and the voice on the speaker will broadcast: “Heads-up, there’s smoke in the kitchen, the alarm may sound.” Yes, burnt toast is far better than a burning toaster.

And this new smart home detector has three light indicators: red for emergency, yellow for a heads-up warning, and green for good.

An added bonus with this new technology is that it comes with a 10-year secured Carbon Monoxide sensor that provides voice alerts. The Carbon Monoxide feature is also synced with your smartphone.

Nest Protect is the only alarm system on the market that has a humidity sensor that looks for steam which means that you can finally enjoy a nice quiet shower.

The device checks its own batteries and sensors well over 400 times a day, and is the only alarm available that uses a sound-check feature to test its speaker and horn on a monthly basis. When its batteries are low a yellow light will appear, so you won’t have to worry about hearing that dreadful chirping noise at like 2:00 am. And if you need to get up in the middle of the night, the device will automatically light up as you walk underneath it.

Through its app you can also tap your smartphone screen to quickly perform a test of your alarms. Once your test is done a full report will be provided on your smartphone dashboard.

Nest Protect will make for a great holiday gift. It retails for $109.00 and you can purchase it at Best Buy and The Source.


About the Author: Paul Fitzgerald is a freelance journalist in Toronto, a science and technology columnist with, and blogs for CNN International Report.


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