Get Smart with a Smart Fire and CO2 Detector

Posted: January 8, 2020
Category: Smart Home/New Tech , Home , Safety/Emergency

It’s January, and as a formerly beloved song famously says “baby, it’s cold outside.” And for as frightful as the weather outside might be this time of year, the potential dangers inside are far from delightful. In fact, certain factors in winter months pose an increased bevy of potential home hazards that can cause damage to property, injury, or even death if left unchecked.

The New York City Fire Department recently printed and circulated a flier to every home in the five boroughs where they emphasize the importance of installing and maintaining a smoke alarm. The NYFD notes that seventy percent of fire deaths occur in homes with an inoperable smoke alarm or no alarm present. But it’s not just the risk of fire that is potentially deadly. The invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless and colorless. According to The National Fire Protection Association, like home fires, CO incidents are also more common in the winter months.


Like everything in this world, fire and CO2 detectors don’t last forever. Most have about a 10-year lifespan, after which, they start acting up. These functional misbehaviors can range from the annoying persistent chirp, to an alarm that won’t even sound during after an overcooked microwave popcorn catastrophe.

While a battery change, reset or a good cleaning can remedy a noisy or silent alarm, too many people opt to disconnect the alarm rather than deal with the annoyance. If you’re one of these people, know that you’re putting yourself and your family at great risk. It’s probably time to start shopping around for a new alarm.


Remember the proverbial tree that fell in the forest with nobody around? Well, despite philosophical debates, it did make a sound. But like a blaring fire alarm, if nobody is around to hear it, that sound isn’t doing much good.

So, you decided to invest in a new detector. Since your old model is probably ten years old, the first thing you’ll notice when you’re researching fire and CO2 alarm systems is that like home security, thermostats and doorbells, detectors have gotten smart. But unlike that smart thermostat that can only save you money when you’re not home, a smart smoke and CO2 alarm system can save your home and your pets even if you’re miles away and out of earshot by sending you a message on your mobile phone if there’s an incident.


As the popularity of smart homes have increased in recent years, so has the choice for systems.

Onelink Safe and Sound

Produced by First Alert, makers of the first residential smoke alarm and first battery powered CO2 alarm, the Onelink Safe and Sound system comes in battery powered and hard-wired versions. This all-in-one fire, smoke, CO and CO2 sensor has inherent internet connectivity capability and is kept current through over-the-air updates. And it has a version that is Alexa and Apple HomeKit-enabled!

Nest Protect

From Google, makers of the popular Nest Thermostat system. It also detects smoke and carbon monoxide. Its plus is that it not only sounds an alarm and sends a message to your phone, but it also lets you know what room the alert is coming from. A major plus of Nest-Protect is that tests itself and lets you know if there is a cleaning or power issue. Say goodbye to chirping!  Available in battery-powered and hardwired versions.

Roost Smart Battery

So, maybe your current alarm is only a few years old and in perfect working condition. Or maybe you don’t want to spend the $100 plus that on Onelink or Nest system will run you. You still have the option of having a smart(er) system using a traditional detector by installing a Roost Smart Battery. This battery gets its smarts by being Wi-Fi-enabled. Just install the battery in your existing alarm unit, then download the Roost Smart Battery app. You’ll be connected just like one of the fancier systems at a fraction of the cost.


Upgrading a hard-wired smoke or CO2 alarm system is a simple procedure for an experienced DIYer. But nothing beats the peace of mind of having your fire prevention system installed by a licensed and insured professional. As a licensed contractor in New York City  approved by Con Edison, all work done by PK & Altman Electric’s expert staff is guaranteed to meet local and national safety code standards.


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