Nest Smoke Detectors Still Not So Great At Detecting Smoke

nestprotectbackHere is what people want their smoke detector to do: sound an alarm when there is smoke. Here is what they do not want their smoke detector to do: sound an alarm for no reason whatsoever in the middle of the night. Users of the connected smoke detector from Nest, a company owned by Google, complain that this is what’s happening to them.

Don’t take our word for it, though. One Google employee, Brad Fitzpatrick, took to his Google+ account (where else?) and warned the general public not to buy the current version of the Nest Protect. The problem, he says, is that false alarms are a problem, and that when they happen, you can’t turn the alarm off. He called the product an “unhushable pieces of crap.”

There’s a video of the nightmare available, which we don’t recommend actually watching, because it is loud and annoying. Fitzpatrick isn’t alone, though: here are excerpts from Amazon reviews of the product posted just during the month of February 2015 (which is only half over.)

One reviewer had at least one nice thing to say about the smoke detector:

This product is a nice path light, I’ll give it that. Otherwise, it is a machine designed to place terror in the hearts of your children as it randomly triggers false alarms on different units at random times. Fortunately, since the nest protects are all wirelessly interconnected, no one misses out on any of the false alarms.

What happens when the alarms go off while you’re not home? They annoy your neighbors if you live in an apartment or condo. What if they go off while your kids are home with a babysitter? Everyone has to go huddle in the car because the alarm can’t be turned off.

My wife and I were at a close friend’s wedding, and our babysitter called to let us know the alarms were going off. This time, she couldn’t get the unit to “hush”. The alarms went off for over an hour late at night, and the babysitter had to take the kids out of the house and sit in her car for an hour just to get a break– Nest literally ran my kids out of their own home.

Another reviewer pointed out that when their home actually did fill with smoke, the alarm didn’t go off. So there’s that.

We’ll contact Google and find out whether they have any comment on the false alarms issue, and update you if they do.

Do NOT buy a Nest smoke alarm. [Google+]

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