Man installing a smart smoke detector

Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Updated April 5, 2017 . AmFam Team

Smart smoke detectors can help you take action when it matters most. Learn more about smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with American Family.

When you’re at home, it’s all about being comfortable and feeling at ease — which is why you try to make it a safe place for you and your loved ones. Stay savvy about your home’s safety with technology like smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — a device that protects you, your family and your home. Let’s take a look at how smart devices like these help you safeguard all the things that matter most.

What Is a Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Smart smoke detectors, as well as smart smoke detectors that also sense carbon monoxide, conveniently alert you if there is a fire, where the smoke or carbon monoxide is coming from, and what action to take, wherever you are. These devices are connected to the internet, which allows them to communicate through apps to deliver alerts to your smartphone when an alarm sounds.

You’ll receive details about what was detected. For example, telling you there’s smoke in the kitchen when you’re reading in your bedroom or out shopping for groceries — so you know exactly what action to take.

Some smart alarms talk to each other, so that when one alarm senses something amiss, all the alarms in the house will alert you. Most smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors perform their own diagnostics to ensure they’re working correctly, and they’ll even alert you when batteries are low by sending an alert to your phone, without the annoying chirp.

Check out these key carbon monoxide safety tips to help you better understand potential hazards in your home that can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

How to Shop For the Best Smart Smoke Alarm

One way to find the best smart smoke and fire alarms is to do your homework online before you buy. As with most products, features and added hardware will probably cost more. Smoke alarms with an app can do a lot to protect your home.

Smoke smart sensors and detectors that alert your phone are also great because they can be programmed to inform first responders as well. Be sure that yours is sensing for both smoke and carbon monoxide. And products that utilize a split-spectrum photoelectric sensor are also worth their price tag. When compared to ionization sensors, split-spectrum devices are known for fewer false alarms.

In addition to offering early warning, many also offer status updates that inform you of issues with the device. If the backup battery is running low, you’ll get a notification. Or if the sensor’s not working correctly, you’ll be informed of the issue.

Making the Switch to Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

If you’re not fully sold on the idea of smart home smoke alarms, you’re not alone. Many people have concerns that the products don’t work or that the tech is too new to trust in their home. The truth is, these smart home sensing devices work in much the same way as their older, analog models. They’re just better at what they do.

Since most experts recommend that you change your smoke alarms out every ten years, use that window to upgrade to smart home devices. If you’ve already got smart speakers or a smart home hub, adding other sensors or devices is really quite simple. And if you’re living in condo association where updated building codes will soon require the use of smart home systems, take advantage of the opportunity and upgrade before doing so is required.

Other Smart Home Tech

While devices like the smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors help increase safety, there are a lot of super cool smart devices out there that also help save energy, money and can even lower your carbon footprint! Get smarter about smart technology by reading up on other smart tech devices, such smart thermostats.

You’ll learn how you can use smart devices to stay connected, keep your family safe and save on energy costs. And, our beginner’s guide to setting up a smart home tells you all about the easy ways you can stay connected and control your home wherever you go.

Learn How a Smart Smoke Detector Can Save You Money

Connect with your agent to find out how devices like smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can help you qualify for a smart home discount on your homeowners insurance. Because when you protect what matters most, we think it’s worth rewarding.

Related Articles

Related article test
  • Woman sitting at table writing a home inventory for homeowners insurance.
    Woman sitting at table writing a home inventory for homeowners insurance.
    9 Steps to Create a Home Inventory for Insurance Claims

    Your home is more than a roof over your head. It’s where your dreams grow, your family thrives and memories are made. But the possessions you keep inside are important, too.

    Whether you’re renting an apartment or own your home, you’ve most likely got an insurance policy designed to protect your dwelling and the things inside. Should the unthinkable happen and you have to use that insurance policy, it’s important to have a plan in place. And a home inventory list is a great way to get started!

    We’ll walk you through how to create a home inventory so — in the event of the unexpected — you’ll be more prepared and have a streamlined recovery.

    What Is a Home Inventory?

    Quite simply, a home inventory is a complete list of all the items, especially valuables, in and around your home. The best home inventories include photos, descriptions and dollar values of each of your belongings. The more detail, the better! It’ll help you provide a comprehensive list to your agent of items lost in the event your home is damaged or destroyed, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.

    When your describing the items in your list, remember that the more information, the better. Here’s a quick reference list of the type of information you should include in your home inventory list:

    • An in-depth description of the items. For example, rather than writing down “diamond ring,” be more descriptive, such as: “an emerald cut diamond ring, with white gold shank, accent stones and initials inscribed below the bridge.”
    • Make, model, and/or serial number of the items.
    • Date of purchase, receipts and photos.
    • Estimated replacement cost if you bought it today. Do note that the value of the items might be different today than it was when you first bought them. This is especially true with jewelry, and other valuables.
    • Appraisals at time of purchase. Especially if your items were appraised for insurance purposes.

    Why Do I Need a Home Inventory?

    Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, everyone can benefit from a home inventory!

    If you ever have to make a claim, a home inventory is a great asset to have, especially after stressful events like theft, storm damage or a fire (take a look at how one renter used their home inventory after facing an apartment fire).

    When you make a claim, you typically submit information on everything that was lost — which can be difficult to do off the top of your head for all your possessions. Remembering to replace your TV or computer are no-brainers, but when it comes to remembering each piece of jewelry in your jewelry box, things tend to get overlooked. Having a personal property inventory will help, along with knowing how to properly insure your jewelry.

    When you have your home inventory checklist, you know exactly what needs to be replaced, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your entire household is protected.

  • A row of houses in a neighborhood with storm clouds that will bring strong rain and roof leaks behind it.
    A row of houses in a neighborhood with storm clouds that will bring strong rain and roof leaks behind it.
    Reasons Why a Roof Leaks

    You’re admiring the rain from the comfort of your home when you notice a sound — the unmistakable drip of water dropping onto your floor. The first and hardest step is figuring out why your roof is leaking. And with these tips, you’ll find the culprit in no time!

    Here’s Why Your Roof Is Leaking

    The list of reasons why your roof is leaking may seem long, but don’t worry — when it comes to finding the leak and fixing it, the finding is the hardest part. And the good thing about these problems? They can all be fixed. Check out the list and see what’s troubling your roof:

    Your roof is old

    Roofs don’t last forever. Protecting your home and everything inside it from the elements comes with a cost. And with all that rain, snow, ice, wind and even sunlight wearing down your roof, it becomes more susceptible to leaks. Every roof will eventually need to be replaced, so learn more about how long your roof should last based on what it’s made of.

  • A home with a wet roof after a storm.
    A home with a wet roof after a storm.
    How to Check Your Roof for Storm Damage

    There’s no good time to find out your roof needs repair — but you may be able to mitigate that pain by routinely checking your roof for damage after severe weather. Waiting for a leak or damage to present itself gives the problem time to grow and worsen.

    And sometimes, you’ll be faced with expensive roof and interior damage repairs if you’re not diligent. By being proactive and checking your roof for damage after severe weather hits can help your roof — and your savings — stay healthy.