I have a vacation property located 600 miles from my primary residence. We purchased the property a couple of years ago and I need to replace the hardwired smoke detectors which are well past their 10 year life. I’m considering the Nest Protect for its remote alert features. But reading some of the Amazon one and two star reviews (which account for 6% of the total reviews) and which mostly consist of false alarm complaints (and perhaps even more concerning, a handful of “my house was on fire but the Protects never sounded!” entries) isn’t leaving me with the warm and fuzzies. False alarms are bad enough when you're in the house, but getting an erroneous "Hey, your house is on fire" alert when you're 600 miles away has gotta suck.
Some of the reviews are several years old so it’s possible that these issues may have been resolved with firmware updates. Then of course there’s the $100+ price. For those of you who have these; how reliable have they been? Do you like them? Would you buy them again and if not, what would you buy?
As an aside, I also looked at dumb detectors and the number of one star (11% of total reviews) and two star (3.2% or total reviews) reviews was alarmingly bad.
I have 3 Protects and wouldn't even consider using anything else. I've had mine for about two years now. I've never had a false alarm, not even once. They do a once a month self test so you know they are working correctly. You can also log into the Nest app and see the status and do a check from there if you want. And if you also have the Nest thermostat (I do) then you can set it up to automatically shut down the heat/air if the alarm goes off. Especially helpful if the carbon monoxide alarm is triggered.
The only time I've almost triggered mine is from cooking. But even then, it gives you a warning that it has sensed smoke and may go off soon. If you don't do anything... it will go off, LOUDLY! If you fan the smoke away, all is good again or you can go into the app and tell it that everything is ok. Very convenient!
You can’t do better. I have 4 of them now. I have two dumb detectors left that aren’t giving me trouble, but every new dumb detector that I’ve tried has given me problems, and when I have the manufacturer send me replacements they do the same things (false alarms, no detection when there was clearly smoke, steam false alarms, beeping in the middle of the night for no reason, etc.) I won’t buy anything else now.
They are expensive but you’re getting a lot and they’re just so reliable. I think it’s primarily when you buy the kind that react with photosensors, you get false alarms and other issues. But if you buy the ionizing type, that’s only good for rapid fires, and the fire departments don’t recommend that. Nest is the only photo sensening type that can do fast and slow fires, yet is not prone to false alarms from dust, steam, spiders, or whatever else.
I've had 6 Nest Protect's (line powered) installed for about 18 months now. Most of them are mounted on high ceilings that require an extension ladder to reach. I was tired of the backup batteries in the old units needing replacement. The Protect units have long life batteries that so far are keeping me off the ladder.
It is helpful to use the residents mobile phones for occupancy detection assist. Once a month, If Nest thinks nobody is home, it will run the self check procedure. If somebody is home in a room where Nest can't detect their presence it can be a bit surprising when the smoke detectors start talking and then the alarms go off. Not a big deal, but it can be a surprise.
I like the path assist lighting. It's great for those late night trips down the hall to get a snack.
I'll agree they are expensive, and I've noticed that unlike other Nest products, they never seem to go on sale. I will be buying one more to replace the last of the old detectors soon.
I have not had any false alarms. Once while I was traveling I received an alert that there was smoke in the kitchen. I called home and learned that my son had burned the bacon he was cooking. He asked me "how did you know the smoke alarm went off?".
In a rental situation I can imagine some tenants might have privacy issues with the Nest Protects. The app and website show when the path lights came on (configurable, triggered by motion detection). So you can tell when and where people are moving about in the house. And you will know anytime a smoke alarm is triggered.
Thanks everyone. Great to hear that your experiences have been good. I'm a Costco member and they have the wired and battery versions available in 2 packs for $199.99--pricey but better than the approx $120 street price. Now to convince wifey...
I have 5 and having been using for a couple of years. Will be adding 3 more as soon as our reno is done. One of the nice features with the Protect is the "wireless interconnect" - you don't need a hard wired communication between units which means you can use battery and hard-wired units interchangeably and still be code compliant.
Wifey is on-board. We won't be back down there for another several weeks. I'm going to hold off ordering for a couple of weeks in the unlikely event that Costco drops the price on these in time for the holidays.
All smoke detectors have issues. Mainly false positives (steam for example) I can't say I've had one not go off when it should though. I do believe there were some issues with early protects, that may have only been the 1st gen ones though, either way you might want to look a the dates of bad reviews and see if most of them are old.
That said, I have 4 protects, and all have worked fine thus far (roughly a year since I installed the last, perhaps 2 for the lot) and I've not had a single false positive, only a couple warnings from the one closest to my kitchen when something was burning, which is totally acceptable, if not expected.
As a bonus, the whole all protects go off and notify your phone thing worked as it should. I was close enough when it happened that I knew food was burning, but had I stepped away from the kitchen to do something, like go to the washroom, I would have known it was happening anywhere in the house.
Pricey, but highly recommended.
One caveat though, depending on where you mount them, its entirely possible you might find wifi dead spots, so I recommend you setup the device in close proximity to where you plan to put it, just in case you mount it and it can't get a good connection after you've put holes in the wall/ceiling.
Yes, I'm looking at you right rear corner of the house.
I don't know if this is allowed. However, I bought multiple six packs, thinking the Inspector would require me to have more than I thought. (every bedroom, hall, etc) as it turns out I have 2 extra, installed 10 out of 12. anyone interested? message me if you are.