Nest Protect Smoke/CO Detector

Jan 11

One of the downsides of cooking in a small space is that it doesn’t take much to make the smoke detector go off. In fact, it has been a daily event, signaling that it is almost bacon time. It clears pretty fast but it is a bit annoying. Enter the Nest Protect – a combination smoke/CO detector made by the people who brought us the Nest smart thermostat. nest

When the Protect detects smoke, it starts with a verbal warning – it actually speaks – saying “Smoke is detected in the kitchen.” If it is something as simple as smoky bacon, you just step towards the alarm and wave your hand at it letting it know that it is ok and there’s nothing to worry about and it will silence the alarm. If you don’t silence it, it will sound the standard piercing alarm which will definitely wake anyone up, particularly in a space the size of an Airstream. Unlike regular smoke detectors that start beeping when the battery runs low, the Protect will actually announce that its battery is low.  In addition, it will notify you via the iPhone or Android app (a Windows Phone app would be nice). When the lights are out and you walk near the device, its circular LED light will turn on, making it a handy nightlight. Finally, if you have multiple Nest Protect devices, they will talk to each other so they can announce alarms throughout your house.  This is not necessary in a space the size of our Airstream but it would be nice in the house.

The Nest Protect hanging out in its new home.

The Nest Protect hanging out in its new home.

Installation was simple. I just unscrewed the old smoke detector and reused the same holes to mount the mounting bracket to the ceiling. Then the Nest Protect just clips right in. Hooking up to the internet was slightly more difficult only because the app took a few tries to add itself to our free Nest.com account though I think that is more related to some wifi configurations issues I’m dealing with right now. Eventually that succeeded and we are up and running.

I have one concern, and we’ll see if this is an issue the next time we hit the road. The detector clicks in to the mounting bracket very easily — perhaps a bit too easily. The question is how it will do when we’re driving down the road in constant earthquake conditions. I don’t think there is enough space under it for an extra bit of velcro which is my go-to connector. Hopefully it won’t be an issue because the Nest Protect, at $129, is much more expensive than standard smoke detectors and definitely not the kind of thing I want to replace before its time.

I did look into the Nest thermostat to see if it could be useful in the trailer but after reading a number of posts across the internet, it looks like it is not compatible with the unique requirements of RV thermostats and electrical systems. That’s too bad because it looks like it would be nice in a space like this for full-timers.

One comment

  1. Debbie /

    Wow …. Having an apt smoke alarm that scares the bejesus out of everyone and especially my Great Dane everytime I cook bacon ….. I want one.

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