Fires are a very real threat to our everyday lives and it’s beyond any reasonable doubt that wireless smoke detectors save lives. However, finding the right wireless smoke detector can be confusing. Our smoke detectors review represents the best smoke detectors, and you will get very useful information to help you select one that suits your needs.
We’ve looked at 27 wireless smoke detectors and completed over 82 hours of research and testing so I could create this review which leads us to recommend that the First Alert BRK 3120B is the best wireless smoke detector to buy for most people.
1. First Alert BRK 3120B
The First Alert BRK 3120B is equipped with dual photoelectric sensor technologies to make it sense smoke particles optimally. It also comes with a dual sensor smoke alarm that utilizes ionization technology. We found this smoke detector ideal for institutional and residential applications including motels, hospitals, dormitories and more.
We can also ascertain that this wireless smoke detector complies with the building codes where DC or AC photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms are needed. Also, it’s installation is easy and the unit is cost effective. Therefore, we can assure you that you will be wasting your resources while purchasing and installing this unit.
Why are our reviews are trustworthy
The review was written as I was in need for smoke alarms and detectors for my house and so needed to do the research to find ones that would be good enough for my family. Since then we have added a few steps over the last few years to include testing of them, and in that time we have logged many hours of research and testing new ones each year.
We’ve looked at a whole host of smoke alarms and detectors in order to compile this review. We always stay up to date with reviews from other major companies that also test or review products, such as, C-Net, ConsumerReports and Good Housekeeping. Then we do our own testing ourselves and with members of our site, who provide their feedback through our in depth product testing programs.
Did you know that the first large-scale electrical air conditioner was invented and used in 1902 by American inventor Willis Carrier?
*This review covers the best wireless smoke detectors on the market before and since the last time we created this guide. We’ve covered this category extensively.
Who should get this
I am sure you have already read various smoke detectors reviews from other people to find out which one is reliable, so I know that you have found the same problem as I did… that it is difficult to decide. In this review I seek to assist you with the things you should consider when picking top-rated wireless smoke alarms for your home.
A study conducted on the frequency of fire outbreaks in 2014 concluded that firefighters responded to a fire every 24 seconds. Research also shows that, as of 2015, there are approximately 1,300,000 fires reported each year in the United States alone. These fires cost an estimated $10 billion in property damage resulting in roughly 2,600 civilian deaths and 13,000 civilian injuries.
These frightening statistics make it clear that a top wireless smoke detector is fundamental to ensuring safety in the event of a fire threat.
There seems to be some misperception about the differences between fire alarms and smoke detectors. While both are important to ensuring people’s safety in the event of a fire emergency, the roles they play differ in some key ways. Smoke detectors act as a method of detecting smoke and fire, acting only as an alert system to potential threats. Fire alarm systems act as an audible alarm to warn people of fire danger. Fire alarms are also equipped with sprinkler systems to contain fires and methods for alerting emergency services about any outbreaks.
How we selected
How did we choose the ones to include in this review? We started by making a list of all of the top rated wireless smoke detectors to buy in stores and online. We then scoured literally, thousands of reviews, technical documents and user manuals to be able to bring you the most helpful information on the best smoke detectors for home use.
Types of Smoke Detector
When choosing the best fire detector to use in your home, you should familiarize yourself with the various types available to you. By educating yourself on the pros and cons of each type of smoke detector, you will be able to make an informed decision about the one that will suit your needs.
These alarms serve a dual function for homeowners. They detect smoke and offer protection from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that can be fatal with inhaled. Alarms of this type can be battery operated, hardwired, or smart.
Advancing technology means that many areas of our lives are becoming more technology based, giving us technologically advanced options when it comes to things such as smoke detectors. Aside from providing the same basic protections that most fire alarms provide, a smart smoke alarm works with apps to keep homeowners informed about alarms as well as communicating with other detectors in the house to pinpoint where fires are located. These types of alarms are expensive, but they offer you the best protection for your money.
Battery Operated Detectors
These types of smoke detectors don’t require homeowners to use their electrical system to power them. Instead, they are operated by batteries that are easily obtainable at any local store. This makes a battery smoke alarm a user-friendly option for many people. A smart option is available with these alarms providing the same protection as smart detectors. However, batteries in these detectors should be checked frequently since they’re rendered useless if their batteries die. In 25% of the smoke detector failures documented in 2014, dead batteries were the culprit.
If you want a reliable option, hardwired detectors are your safest choices. These detectors are wired into your preexisting electrical system. The best electric smoke alarm provides a backup method of powering themselves to ensure that you always have protection. Installing these detectors will require hiring an electrician as most homeowners don’t have the required electrical knowledge to properly install these on their own.
Different smoke detectors use a different method to sense fires in your home and add another aspect that you should consider when buying a smoke detector.
An ionized smoke detector includes a trace amount of radioactive material that helps ionizes air. When smoke travels through the device it causes a break in the ionization process which causes the detector to send out an alarm. These detectors are best for detecting fast-burning fires through the small amount of smoke they produce.
Photoelectric smoke alarms work exactly as the name suggests. These sensors use light to detect smoke in the area. Due to this, these sensors are best for detecting smoldering flames that produce a large amount of smoke.
Considered the best option by some, these sensors use both methods mentioned above. This provides homeowners with a complete protection system that will detect both smoldering fires and fast-burning fires.
Smart alarms consistently provided a versatility that would best suit homeowners needs out of all the smoke alarms tested.
A smart alarm should be easily controlled from an app with options to turn off any alarms that the user gets receives. Your smart alarm should be able to communicate with the other alarms in your house either wirelessly or by being on the same electrical circuit. This will ensure that all alarms sound in case of an emergency, giving residents enough time to evacuate. Many states now require that all alarms are connected in order to facilitate the best possible outcome in case of a fire, and always make sure to use the same brand of smoke detectors to ensure that they work together. Other useful features for users with smart alarms include voice alerts, self-testing and reporting, and the ability to contact an emergency contact if you can’t be reached.
Despite the bells and whistles that come with a smart alarm, it should be proficient at serving their main function, which is to detect and protect homeowners from fire threats. We follow all regulations set forth by UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories). UL, a safety and certification consulting agency, has drafted the electrical standards that keep Americans safe for over 100 years. By using simulated fires, the UL tests both smart detectors and non-smart detectors through simulated fires that test a variety of parameters.
With UL certification, you can feel safe knowing that you have the best equipment providing you protection. All our tested smoke detectors, smart or not, have met or exceeded UL requirements, and we require that any smoke detector that we test meets this same standard and includes carbon monoxide testing. Our First Alert brands are tested to UL standards through a different nationally recognized testing laboratory (ETL).
There is some debate with professionals in the industry to which type of sensor, a photoelectric smoke alarm or an ionization smoke alarm, offers the best protection if you don’t opt for a dual sensor system. Both sensors, despite the type of fire they’re better at detecting, should respond to any fire in the proper amount of time for homeowners to escape danger.
Photoelectric smoke alarms tend to be the most common alarms found in homes partly due to the fact that ionization alarms can be an irritant for many homeowners. Ionization alarms are predisposed to “nuisance alarms,” which causes many homeowners to disable them and put themselves at risk. Some places have banned these types of smoke detectors, and they’re never recommended for use in kitchens or bathrooms where they will often ring false alarms.
There are advocates for each type—photoelectric, ionization, and dual. Your choice should follow your state’s rule regarding smoke detectors. We tested seven alarms and similar devices that met our high standards of protection.
How Many Smoke Detectors
This is also a common question. Should you have one smoke detector for the entire house or should you have one for each room? The answer of this actually depends on the range of the smoke detecting device which is mentioned on the package of the appliance. However, the most ideal thing to do here is to have at least one detector for every floor of your house. Also, most smoke detecting instruments wear off irrevocably in ten years, which is when you will need to replace these devices.
How we tested them
We utilized a number of properties, from walkups, condo’s and three-story detached homes for our testing purposes. We tested both battery-operated and hardwired alarms, making sure that wireless interconnectivity, app responsivity and effectiveness. By using simulated smoke, we were able to determine how each smoke detector would react in a “real-life” situation.
In addition, we made sure to thoroughly test each smoke detectors’ app. We checked for things such as how quickly they responded to danger and sent an alert to its user, how intuitive and easy to setup an app is, and how useful additional features are to users.
After a month of testing, all devices we worked with responded to fire threats appropriately and did not produce any false alarms. Because we worked outside of UL certified laboratories, we only discuss ease of use, installation, and the smart features included in each device in our top smoke detector reviews.
Our Other Top Picks:
2. First Alert SA320CN with Dual Sensor Smoke Detector
We already know that no one wants to imagine of fire in their house. However, having a tool that can help you detect such danger as early as possible can help to keep your family safe. The First Alert SA320CN with Dual Sensor Smoke Detector is a photoelectric and ionization smoke detector that is equipped with dual sensor technology for optimum performance. We found that it is loud enough, and it is nuisance-resistant dual sensor alarm.
3. Kidde 0919-9999/RF-SM-DC Interconnectable Wireless Smoke Detector
We recommend interconnected smoke detectors and alarms because if one sounds, they all sound and this gives you an early warning. Also, there are better chances of you hearing the alarm from any part of your home and take the appropriate action.
The Kidde 0919-9999/RF-SM-DC allows for non-strenuous installation of an interconnected smoke detection system at a cheap price and without the hassle of rewiring your home. We found that these are alarms are wirelessly linked in such a way that if one alarm sound, all sound. You can also place this alarm in a detached workshop and link it into your home’s interconnected system.
4. First Alert SA501CN Wireless Smoke Detector
In the case of fire, every second count, a reason you need a fast smoke detector to help you notice the fire before it becomes a disaster. If a fire begins in your basement, it will be hard for you to notice that there is a fire in the house especially if you are two floors up. However, with First Alert SA501CN Wireless Smoke Detector which is interconnected, you will be able to hear when the alarm sounds because it is loud enough and also, when one alarm sounds, all the others will sound. This will help you to realize that there is fire and take the appropriate action as early as possible.
5. First Alert BRK 7010B Wireless Smoke Detector
Having reviewed numerous smoke detectors, we found this wireless smoke detector with photoelectric sensor to be an advanced and reliable smoke detector that offers superior smoke alarm performance. The NFPA fire codes require a smoke alarm in every home with multiple devices connected to ensure hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen, and other rooms have maximum protection. We have discovered that BRK 7010B is designed to comply with all fire safety device requirements and offer ultimate protection.
6. First Alert SCO500B Wireless Smoke Detector
If you want to create wireless links with other smoke alarms with the press of a button, First Alert SCO500B OLCOMBOV Wireless Smoke Detector should be your ultimate choice. We have found that all the interconnected alarms will sound if this gadget detects smoke.
Its exclusive voice warning with location will tell you which preprogrammed location features the danger detected. You can preprogram this smoke detector up to 11 different locations in your home. For example, if there is smoke in the basement when the alarm sounds, it will say, “warning, smoke in the basement, evacuate.”
7. Onelink Wireless Smoke Detector SCO501B2
We found this gadget to have a battery backup, and it is an ionization smoke detector. It can be interconnected with other smoke and fire alarms in your home in such a manner that if one alarm sounds, all will sound. This will offer you a better chance to know as early as possible when a fire starts in your home.
8. Honeywell 5808W3 Wireless Smoke Detector
We found that Honeywell 5808W3 Wireless Smoke Detector is ideal for residential and commercial installation. The gadget uses photoelectric effect concept to detect any smoke, and once it detects, the alarm rings. This enables the user to take action to curb the fire before it spreads.
9. First Alert Wireless Battery Fire Smoke Detector
It’s time to protect your business or home with an efficient and high-performance smoke detector – iSmartSafe Wireless Fire Smoke Detector. This wireless smoke detector is based on a more precise photoelectric technology to ensure that it is highly responsive to smoke.
We found the gadget is easy to install as it comes with a pair of screws, a mounting bracket, and a pair of anchor plugs. The product comes with an easy-to-follow manual that will help you to install the smoke detector in just minutes.
10. Kidde KN-COSM-BA Wireless Smoke Detector
The Kidde KN-COSM-BA Smoke Detector will help you to monitor your business premises or home from anywhere via the internet by your iPad, iPhone, smartphones, and personal computer after installing and comes with Voice Alert.
The smoke detector keeps everything in your home safe, offering maximum security. We found this smoke detector to be among the best and reliable smoke detectors because it does not depend only on sound. Even when you are away from home or your business premises, this gadget will tell you as soon as it detects smoke.
11. First Alert OneLink Wireless Smoke Detector
Are you looking to take the smoke detectors in your home to another level? With the Wireless Smoke Detector 120V Hardwired Interconnectable OneLink w, you can easily connect the smoke detectors to other smoke alarm systems wirelessly in your home. This will not only save you money but also time because you require only one system to secure your home.
We found smoke detector to be among the best electric smoke detectors, and it requires a 120v power supply for it to run effectively. Since it can be connected to other fire alarms in your home, you can be assured that if it rings, all the other alarms will ring, and this will enable you to notice the danger as early as possible.
12. Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 Wireless Smoke Detector
Are you looking for an easy-to-install, affordable, and effective wireless smoke detector? If yes, Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 should be your ultimate choice. We recommend it as it detects smoke faster and it rings loud enough to notify you of the danger. Being prepared to detect smoke before the fire spreads in your home is one way to enhance your home’s or business premises’ security. Opt for Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 for maximum protection.
13. Kiddie RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke Detector
The Kiddie RF Smoke Detector is among the best electric smoke detectors that we recommend. It is rated 0.5A, 30V AC/DC. It utilizes the photoelectric technology to detect smoke and is loud enough to notify you any smoke danger.
Note that your valuable property has a greater chance of being rescued from fire if you detect smoke early. Therefore, you need an effective smoke detector to help you know when a fire starts and take the appropriate action in time to save your property. The Photoelectric i3 Smoke Detector is an ideal tool to help you achieve that.
14. First Alert Smoke Detector with Photoelectric Sensor
The First Alert Home Smoke Detector is equipped with a high sensitive photoelectric sensor that can effectively detect even slight smoke from fires. We recommend this wireless smoke detector because it can effectively detect smoke from even the slow burning fires.
When its battery goes low, it sends a warning, and this prevents the case where your smoke detector goes off, and you are not aware. This gadget comes with an easy-to-follow manual, two screws, a mounting bracket, and a pair of the anchor. With that, you can easily install it in your home. Therefore, for an all round home fire early warning protection, we recommend First Alert Home Smoke Detector with Photoelectric Sensor, a gadget that has proved its efficiency in providing early warning in case of smoke.
Why Buy A Smoke Detector?
There are various kinds of house alarms available in the market which gives an additional protection to your home. Though it’s not important to fix up all kinds of protection alarm in the house but it’s essential to invest in some which will be helpful for your protection and safety. In case you have a obsolete wired smoke detection alarm system at your place then you should consider replacing it at the earliest or get it upgraded with a better and latest technology. You never know when the disaster will strike, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Benefits of a wireless smoke detector
A wireless smoke detector gives a benefit to place the smoke detector alarm in such place where wiring is not possible or in rooms with filled with hazardous materials. Various other features that come with this wireless system are not present in wired smoke detector system. The wireless smoke detectors are linked together, so when one alarm detects smoke then all the alarms in other rooms will sound too. The immediate sound gives the family an opportunity to escape and survive fire in such situations.
A lot of people think that installing a wireless smoke detector will be very expensive then they are highly mistaken. These alarms are cost effective than a wired system because installing a wireless device is much easier and takes less time. It’s a like a complete safety system for the family because the traditional idea to inform one another when the fire is on is not a good idea. By the time the communication gets over the fire will be on its full fledged mode and it will be very difficult for you to run away from the house.
While buying a smoke detector make sure that you buy a compatible model for other residential alarms of the house. The smoke alarm, the sprinkler system and the burglar alarm should all be well coordinated so that there is a track on everything .A wireless smoke detector can also be monitored when no one is present at the house or you go out for a holiday with your family.
Things to keep in mind before buying a smoke detector
Smoke detectors whether wireless or wired are present everywhere and if you also want to buy then make sure you consider some of the essential factors which will help you to buy the best wireless smoke detector. Firstly one should buy a certified electronic device that has been tested and approved. While buying if you see a UL mark then it means that its underwriters laboratory certified and the device you are selecting has been tested and approved.
To buy a wired or a wireless device is again an option, buy whatever suits you but just be sure that you are well researched and know most of the details about them so that you make a right choice . The problem with wired smoke detectors is that there is a lot of trouble to be taken while wiring the device. On the other hand the wireless smoke detectors are portable which work with a battery power of 9V.
The third issue is the sensitivity of a smoke detector; it should have the ability to detect the smoke of any type and that too at a very early stage. Most of the detectors will only respond to smoke from wood or paper but you should buy something which can detect smothering embers and high temperature areas.
The sensitivity of a smoke detector is its ability to respond to smoke of any kind. Most detectors will respond to active fires, such as those set by paper or wood. However, you might also want to look for more sensitive detectors that can detect smoldering embers, high temperature areas and so on. This can help in getting advance indications of fires that are about to break out and can help in implementing preventive measures. These detectors are also extremely useful in detecting gradual smoke buildup in a room, which might lead to asphyxiation is ignored. Some of the newer detectors have such capabilities. But, they are also more expensive.
It is also important to see what kind of alert the machine gives out. The siren is the most usual one, but you should at least be able to modulate the loudness of the siren so that you can keep it at a comfortable level. Also, there should be a feature where you can mute the detector when you are alerted and are trying to combat the smoke. Some of the cheaper detectors don’t have this feature and so they go on and on even when the whole neighborhood is up and trying to fight the smoke!
The prices of smoke detecting instruments vary greatly. The battery-operated smoke detectors are cheaper than the wired ones. There is also variation based on the reputation of the company that the detector belongs to. However, you must be discerning about your shopping here-the lowest cost doesn’t always mean the best buy in situations where your safety can be compromised.
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- Smoke Detector Technology Research Jay Fleming. 2016/11/07
- Smoke Alarm Myths Explained. The World Fire Safety Foundation. 2017/02/03
- Position of Smoke Alarms in Residential Accommodation Fire & Emergency Service Authorities Council. 2016/09/11
- Smoke Alarms in the Home Confederation of Fire Protection Associations.
- Smoke Alarm Safety. National Fire Protection Association. 2016/11/22