A smoke detector is one of the essential safety equipment items for your home and family safety. Its significance may not be gauged in ordinary circumstances but when a smoke or fire accident incurs, it reduces the risk of life and material loss.
Finding the right smoke detector can certainly be a confusing task. Some smoke detectors are easy to install and cheap in price but come with basic features. The more expensive ones are comprehensive in operation, have add-on features and appear to be heavy on buyer’s pocket. With our extensive research, we list below some of the best home detectors that ensure the full-proof safety of your loved ones.
How to Install a Wired Smoke Detector
It might be a bit tricky to install a wired smoke detector, it takes skills and knowledge about how electricity and wiring work.
If you’re completely new at this, you should seriously consider hiring a professional to do the job.
The ideal location for wired detectors is around a foot underneath the ceiling. The box for the device shouldn’t be on a wall stud, so make sure to avoid these. Once you have a clear space, mark the place where you’re going to install the box and cut holes there. You should have an electric panel or a fuse box nearby in order to pull the required wires over.
After installing the box, you have to pull over the required ground wires from the fuse box to your alarm system. Each connection of the wires should be firmly fastened with a wire nut. You would need to plug in the three prongs of your smoke detector somewhere as well.
Once you’ve made all the connections and mounted the wall bracket as well, turn on the detector’s circuit and test the device. This could be done using the test button, which should emit an alarm if pressed for a few seconds.
What to Look For in Wired Smoke Detectors
When you’re on the lookout for the best wired smoke detectors, there are a few factors to consider. Since these are going to be an almost permanent fixture in your house, it helps if you look at the following aspects before finalizing you choice:
The Power Source
Wired alarms require a professional level of installation. For this, they need a proper source of energy in your house. This is then connected to the other alarms around the house, making sure they all go off when there’s a threatened problem. Hence, make sure you have at least one fuse box or electronic panel to devote to your wired smoke alarm.
Your wired smoke detector should ideally be able to link to other devices. These could be other smoke detectors or CO detectors as well. If one gets triggered, all the alarms should go of. This alarm system is one of the safest options to date. Hence, make sure you have such a connection, especially if you live in a medium to large house.
A Silence Button
Smoke detector alarms can be useful, but also quite annoying. They could even damage your hearing if you stand too close. You can always disable the alarm by taking the batteries out, but this is a risky option if you forget to re-install them. A silence button is hence the best option to have.
If you or a family member is hard of hearing in any way, a flashing light should be part of your smoke detector. Even if there are no hearing issues, a light can sometimes attract attention where sound fails. In order to have an extra safety feature, you can also go for a detector that lights up when it’s dark.
Digital CO display
It’s best if your smoke detector also acts as a CO detector. This could be a vital part of your home safety system. Having the CO levels displayed digitally has several advantages, especially if you’re going to be away for some time. You should be able to see the high and lows that you’re being subjected to every day, as well as stay informed of any irregularities during your absence.
Where to Buy
Universal Security Instruments USI-1204 University Security Instruments Electric 1204 Hardwired Ionization Smoke & Fire Alarm
Installing this top-notch 9120 series of high wired smoke alarm in your home can perhaps be one of the best choices to make in terms of smoke detection and fire accidents. Having a 10- year warranty and weighing up to 0.8 ounces, the detector comprises of tamper-resistant locker pins, operates at 120 volts Ac power and is also provided with a backup battery. Thus, the issue of power outrage or no electricity can be easily solved by the use of the battery backup. Similarly, the alignment of this detector can be easily sorted using a gasket-less mount. The ionizing sensor also helps in sensing flame fires that in turn ingest explosive flames.
One of the most celebrated factors of this product is its insolent technology of not producing unnecessary noise. It also includes a single test/silence button from which you can test the unit’s functionality and at the same time, silence the non-threatening alarm and low battery warning.
- Easy to set-up and swap out
- Can connect with your other hardwire smoke detectors
- Comes with a dust cover to protect the unit
- Users complain that the manual is not detailed and contains incomplete information
- The battery door isn’t easy to open
In terms of having excellent mechanism and functionality, Kidde’s Firex Hardwired smoke alarm is also one of the best smoke detectors. To begin with, the product has the advantage of easy installation where without removing the mounting bracket from the alarm, the front battery pull tab allows for the detector’s instigation. The minting is further made easier with more surface area in terms of a mounting base that also keeps the surface clean; preventing any sort of scratches of the paint from being scrapped off. This product is also provided with the tamper resistant lock features that help prevent the theft of alarm.
Kidde’s Firex Hardwired smoke alarm offers user-friendly features such as the provision of a hush alarm control button. The front-loading battery door is another commendable feature of this product and a battery backup is also provided; adding to the idealistic functionality of the product. The alarm is also inter-connectable with as many as 24 devices; tinned strands for amplified conductivity, wire nut grip and an alarm that has memory flashes.
- Fairly expensive than other brands
- Made with hard and durable plastic that doesn’t break off easily
- Uses extremely sensitive ionization sensors
- Features a low-battery indicator light
- The wiring harness does not match with old Firex smoke detectors
- Users complain that the re-mounting and re-wiring is time-consuming
This is another effective smoke detector that has 120- Volt ionization with an alternative battery pack in order to cover up for any accidents or power outrage. It is fully inter-connectable with around 24 USI and universal combat devices that further add to its proficiency. The installation of this product is also very easy and maintenance isn’t very time consuming or costly. The detector also has a front-loaded battery drawer that can perhaps make the battery installation and removal quite feasible.
It is associated with the Patented Quickfire alarm organization that helps in identifying the first alarm to ring. The USI Electric 5304 also includes a tamper resistant lock feature that secures both the alarm and battery.
- Comes a tamper-resistant feature
- Includes an alternative battery pack
- Gives a 3-year warranty
- Allows interconnectivity with 24 alarms
- Poor battery life
- Plugs are not compatible and require replacement
- Incompatible bases and wiring harness that don’t replace so easily
The Kidde 1275 is a 120-Volt AC hardwired smoke and fire detector that comes with a UL certification. With a Quick Connect Wiring System, it is easy to install, mount and upgrade, it also has the ability to interconnect with more than 24 other Kidde smoke detectors. The unit comes with a battery back-up and hush feature that can directly hook the unit into the power system of your house.
Since this features ionization sensing alarms, the detector is efficient in notifying about the invisible smoke and fire particles quicker than any other photoelectric alarms. With this you don’t have to manually test the alarm to check if it’s working, simply take a look at the green LED power on light and you will know it. This contractor kit comes with 6 detector units, 9volts battery installed and 5 years warranty.
- Convenient interconnectivity with other detectors
- Serves as a quick, direct fit replacement
- Model is easy to install as per the instruction manual
- With an ionization sensor, it may buzz when there is cooking smoke
- Appears to be expensive than other brands
- The batteries used don’t last long
5. Universal Security Instruments USI-1204 University Security Instruments Electric 1204 Hardwired Ionization Smoke & Fire Alarm
University Security Instruments Electric 1204 is a quick in response, efficient smoke and fire detector that uses ionization sensors to detect flames, fire and smoke particles. It’s easy to set-up and replacesa model that can interconnect with 18 other units. In case of power outage, the alarm would keep working with its 9-volt battery back-up.
Other essential features also include a red LED light that flashes to indicate smoke, fire in the house and green LED light that shows the alarm is working. If the battery goes low, the alarm would beep to let you know and you can replace them easily for rainy days.
- Comes with screws already installed and twist caps connected
- Includes long lasting batteries
- Includes optional tamper-proof tab
- Easy to replace with other USI models
- Comes with a hush button
- Comes in bright white colour, which may not fit beige and pearl white ceilings
- Customer service isn’t very friendly and helpful
This hardwired smoke detector is also a carbon monoxide alarm, which contributes to an overall safer environment in your home. It’s also equipped with smart technology that allows it to be compatible with Google’s Alexa. You can hence activate it and give commands orally. These are overall some of the main features we need to be on the lookout for when buying smoke detectors today.
There are several sensors installed in this detector, including ones that can detect humidity, temperatures, and even barometric pressures. This leads to a reduction in false alarms. With the Halo app on your smartphone, you can rest easy knowing that any irregularity would immediately be reported to you. In order to get all these facilities, though, you would have to install this hardwired detector properly using a fuse box or electric panel.
- Equipped with both iodization and photoelectric sensors that can help to detect fires
- Has a batter backup in case of power outages or failures
- Can be integrated with several automation systems at home
- Makes use of multiple sensors in order to detect real threats
- Users can monitor and silence alarms with remote access using their smart devices
- Relatively more expensive than other smoke detectors available
- Warranty may be deemed too short with regards to the high price
- App might cause some delay in silencing alarm
There are several reasons why Nest Protect is among the most coveted brands on the smoke detector market. This particular smoke detector is sleek design and would detect both the slow fires and the flaming ones. It’s also able to warn you about carbon monoxide. You also don’t have to worry about it going off due to overdone toast, since it picks up on humidity and heat before actually going off.
Along with the alarm itself, this Nest Protect detector would also let you know of any danger using a voice warning. All you have to do is make sure the device is installed properly to a fuse box, electric panel, or something similar. You then have to connect the right wires and make sure the detector is attached firmly to the base. This might take some know-how, so call in a professional if you’re an absolute beginner.
Once you’ve got the detector installed and tested, you can get the Nest app for receiving any notifications about your home environment. It doesn’t matter whether you have an iOS device or an Android one since the app works with both. This way, you get to silence the detector’s alarm even if you’re not at home.
- Can detect several kinds of fires and differentiate between them and normal cooking smoke
- Can be silenced and otherwise monitored through an app
- Price is steeper than other similar devices on the market
- 2-year warranty might be too little for an average household
All in all, these smoke detectors listed are perhaps not only known for their efficiency and quality but the brands of these products are also known and shipped worldwide. The fact that all of the listed products have more or less the same features provides more choices for the buyer. When there isn’t any compromise on taking preventive measures to save yours and your loved one’s lives, why take the risk of not having a smoke detector, especially when they are so useful, efficient and pocket friendly.