I've been meaning to post this for a while, but time has not been on my side lately. One cool evening in October, my husband and I were finally able to leave the windows open. There's nothing better than having the windows open on a cool night. We were sleeping so well! Until .....
ALL THE LIGHTS TURNED ON! And the LED's RGBWW's turned red and the smoke detectors sounded their rendition of "Someone three blocks away has a fire pit going and maybe you want to get out there and enjoy it before they put it out. It's only midnight." By this time the dogs are freaking out and peeing everywhere, my husband is running around in his boxer briefs trying to figure out if there really is a fire, and I'm hauling out the laptop because I forgot that I set up switches to disarm this fiasco, lights are red, lamps are flashing. All of the detectors are sounding because that's what they do when you set them up in HSM, that's what happens when you check the box.
So, I kind've knew what would happen when the detectors went off, but living it and knowing it are two entirely different things. I closed the damn windows and turned on the air conditioning.
In retrospect, I'm glad it worked the way it was intended. We literally could not smell smoke, but our detector sure got a tiny whiff. And there was a fire pit smoldering two blocks away. So, if you wonder if the first alert battery operated detectors are any good. In my opinion, yes. They'll do their job. I would, however; rethink the flashing lights and red LED's if they do go off. It's kind've freaky.
Oh Jesus. Look I'm glad they work and all. But what a horrible way to be woken up! Also, whenever you retire, you should become a humorist - I literally have tears coming down my cheeks.
@april.brandt Great story. I am going to go take another look at HSM after reading that.
See! Never open your windows!
Kidding of course. Would have been nice if they had a pre-stage alert when it's just a bit of smoke. That sounds like it's prone to annoyance alarms.
I really like the "heads up" feature of the Nest Protect. Their ability to avoid the nuisance alarms, yet trigger that first stage when you should probably pay close attention, but also trigger the alarm when it's definitely smoke is really impressive.
Aside from actually filling the kitchen with smoke once and shouting "I'm cooking!" [Which didn't help, if you're wondering], that's the only time it went off like that. I think it was the perfect storm. The detector is in our hall outside of our bedroom and the breeze carried it right into the sniffer. No other annoyance alarms, though. We test monthly. Brings back memories.
The phrase 'better safe than sorry' comes to mind!
I've got a similar setup but if the hub mode is anything other than 'away' the doors unlock, it texts the neighbors that our smoke alarms are going off and the outside lights flash. I tested it one time (gave my neighbors a heads up) and I couldn't get the outside lights to stop flashing. Seems there is a command to start flashing but nothing to stop flashing! It took me like 20 minutes and a some weird looks! I think the flash command bogs down the z-wave network too cause the hub was super laggy.
I've been surprised that neither of my kids, age 5 and 2, wake up when the smoke alarms go of. I read a study that on average it takes small kids 5 minutes to wake up to a smoke alarm vs. 30 seconds to the sound of their mom's voice. So my next addition will be recording my wife saying that there may be a fire and the kids need to feel the door to see if it's warm, if it's cool then open it, stay low and go out the house to the neighbor's house. Then I can put a google mini in each of their rooms and have this play on loop.
LOL when I first set mine up nearly the same thing happened to me one afternoon watching a ball game on TV. A neighbour a couple houses down was BBQing and it set my living room detector off. It was barely a smell of smoke but it caught it. Scared the begibbies out of me.
A couple of button devices strategically placed in the house (i.e. - one on the underside of the nightstand where it cannot be easily noticed by other people) with long presses set to deactivate HSM is how I'm setup to handle accidental alarms.