When it comes to your family’s safety, you should only want the best. If you have a home security system, you might want to upgrade your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to integrate with your security system.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work, explain the benefits over normal detectors, and help you understand what to look for when shopping for these devices.


What Are Smart Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and Flood Detectors?


Smoke detectors are devices that trigger a warning when there’s a buildup of smoke, typically from a fire. Carbon monoxide detectors warn you if the carbon monoxide levels in your home reach a dangerous level. Likewise, flood detectors let you know if rising water becomes a danger. All three devices are important safety features that help protect your family and house.

Smart detectors can be integrated with other smart devices, making them easier to manage, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your family is always safe at home.

We’ll walk you through the differences between smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors later in this guide. First, we want to look at how these devices work.


How Smart Detectors Work


Smart safety detectors (smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood) work the same way traditional detectors do, but with additional features. Here’s a quick overview of how each detector works.


Smart Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors can alert you if there is a fire or high level of smoke in your home. These detectors use heat and smoke sensors to trigger an alert designed to startle you and even wake you up from a deep sleep. 

One of the advantages of smart smoke detectors is that they can remotely alert you to fire and smoke danger, allowing you to contact the fire department to check out the situation and potentially save your home and pets.


Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that is both odorless and colorless, making it impossible to detect on your own. Carbon monoxide detectors have sensors designed to detect dangerous levels of this gas, triggering an alarm to alert you.

Similar to smart smoke detectors, smart carbon monoxide detectors can alert you from virtually anywhere, so you can contact the police or fire department to respond to the carbon monoxide leak in your home.


Smart Flood Detectors

Flood detectors can help you detect early signs of flooding in your basement or other areas in your home. If the sensor detects a leak, you can receive instant notifications on your smart devices.


Four Benefits and Features of Smart Detectors


Many homeowners, renters, and property managers already have basic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed in their homes. So, are smart detectors really worth the extra investment? Let’s take a look at some of their benefits so you can decide for yourself.

Four Benefits of Smart Detectors

  • Remote Access

  • Automatic Emergency Response 

  • More Accurate Detection

  • Integration with Home Automation


Remote Access

The main appeal of smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is that you can access them from almost anywhere. They can sync with your web-enabled smartphone and typically have an app that allows you to access your devices remotely. This allows you to contact the fire or police department right away if you receive an alert that your detector is going off. It could also save the lives of your pets if your alarm signals while you’re at work or away on vacation.

Remote access also allows you to shut off your alarms quickly if they sound after you cook a particularly smoky meal or are triggered accidentally.


Automatic Emergency Response

While remote alerts are great – and potentially life-saving – you might not always have your phone at the ready. Luckily, many smart detectors offer automatic emergency response services, reaching out to the fire or police department for you, so they can investigate the alarm, even if you’re not home.

This can potentially save your belongings from being destroyed in a fire or your pets from suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.


More Accurate Detection

Many smart detectors also offer more accurate smoke and carbon monoxide detection. The ADT Smoke Detector, for instance, offers sensor technology that allows for earlier detection of smoke or increased heat caused by fires.

Likewise, smart carbon monoxide detectors tend to use the latest technology to detect this poisonous gas. The ADT Carbon Monoxide Detector actively monitors for carbon monoxide with electrochemical sensing, allowing the alarm to detect elevated levels of carbon monoxide earlier on.


Home Automation Safety Features

When you purchase smart detectors, you also have the advantage of connecting your smart devices together. By syncing your devices, you’ll be able to access helpful safety features that can keep your loved ones and belongings safe if an alarm is triggered.

For instance, if your smart smoke detector goes off, you can remotely access your smart locks and security alarm to unlock all doors and turn off your alarm. This gives easy access to first responders and allows your family to get out quickly.

In addition, if you have a smart thermostat, you can also turn off your air to slow the spread of smoke or carbon monoxide, depending on the situation.


Other Factors to Consider in Smart Detectors


In addition to the above benefits and features, there are other considerations you should keep in mind when looking for smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for your home.


Wired vs. Wireless Connections 

First, you’ll want to know if you have a hardwired or wireless connection for your existing smoke detectors. Hardwired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are interconnected throughout your home and typically require a more thorough installation. When one alarm goes off, it can be configured to engage the other alarms in your home, making it easier to respond to the alert from anywhere in your home.

Wireless detectors are battery-operated and use radio frequencies to transmit alerts.

While both types of detectors work the same way, wireless detectors will only go off one at a time, as the smoke or carbon monoxide reaches each detector. 

Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors come in both wired and wireless options.


Test and Silencing Options

No matter the type of smoke or carbon monoxide detector you have, it’s a good idea to test all of your alarms regularly to ensure they’re working well. Most detectors have LED lights signaling the state of the battery or the condition of the detector, so you can rest assured that it’s working properly.

The United States Fire Administration recommends testing all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month, replacing batteries for wireless detectors once every one to two years, and replacing detectors every 10 years.

Make sure you find detectors that are not only easy to test but also easy to silence to make this process easier. Many smart detectors allow you to test your devices via your smartphone, so you don’t have to access each individual device.


Cleaning Alerts 

Another important part of maintaining your smoke detector is regularly wiping it clean to eliminate dust and other particles from interfering with your device’s ability to detect smoke or heat. Many smart smoke detectors can notify you if your device needs to be cleaned, so you can ensure your smoke detector is always in top working condition.


Rules for Installing Smart Detectors


Every homeowner, renter, and landlord should make sure their home and properties have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Many state laws even require residences to contain a certain number of detectors per room or square footage.

If you’ve chosen to install wireless smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you’ll be able to install them on your own easily, although professional installation services are always an option. Wired detectors are still possible to install on your own if you’re handy but are often installed by professionals to ensure full functionality.


Smoke Alarms

When installing smoke alarms, you’ll want to make sure you install them in every bedroom or sleeping area and on every floor of the home, including the basement. You also want to install these up high (on walls or the ceiling) since smoke rises. You’ll need to make sure they’re at least 10 feet away from cooking devices to minimize false alarms from kitchen smoke.

Typically, smoke alarms should be installed every 30 feet to offer the most protection and maximum detection.


Carbon Monoxide Alarms 

When installing carbon monoxide alarms, there’s a myth that these detectors should be installed lower to the floor. However, carbon monoxide is a lighter gas that easily mixes with warm, rising air, making it more preferable to install them at least 5 feet above the floor.

You should install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor (including the basement). Place one or more outside of sleeping areas, and avoid installing in the kitchen or humid areas, like the bathroom. If you have a garage, you’ll want to install one there to detect potentially harmful levels of CO2 from your vehicle.


Flood Alarms

When installing flood detectors, you’ll want to place them in rooms with access to water, including your basement, laundry room, water heater and utility rooms, or other places with water lines. Sensors can be installed on your own or with professional services.


Integrating Smart Detectors with Security Systems


If you have a home security system or smart devices that you use for home automation, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors make a great addition. Syncing your smart detectors with your existing smart home devices allows for easy access to all of your systems with one app.

You can even create routines with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa in case of an emergency. For instance, in the case of a fire, you could create a routine saying, “OK, Google, Fire” that unlocks your doors, disarms your security alarm, turns off the air, opens your garage, and alerts the fire department, giving you more time to focus on getting your family out of the house safely.

Let’s take a look at how other smart devices can complement smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


Other ADT Smart Devices to Integrate With Your Smart Detectors


Get the most out of your smart smoke, carbon monoxide, or flood detectors by pairing them with other safety and security smart devices from ADT. Here are some of the top devices to consider pairing with detectors.


Security Alarm Systems

Home security systems can offer peace of mind when you’re sleeping, home alone, or away. Smart alarm systems from ADT allow you to access your security keypad from anywhere, giving you full control to turn your alarm off and on, whether you’re home or away.

In case of a fire or carbon monoxide incident, you can quickly turn off your alarm system to allow your family to get out and first responders to get in. You can also alert the fire department about a potential incident through your home alarm if you receive a notification that your fire or carbon monoxide alarms are going off.


Smart Locks

Smart locks allow you to access your doors remotely, getting in with a quick combination of numbers or via your smartphone. You can lock and unlock doors instantly from anywhere, offering better control over your home safety.

In the event of a fire, you might need to unlock your doors quickly and safely. Using your phone or home automation assistant to unlock your doors can help protect you from burning your hands while allowing quick access outside the door. You can also remotely unlock doors for first responders from anywhere, preventing them from having to break down your door to get in.


Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats can help you save on your utility bills by allowing you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere. You can set the temperature to automatically turn up or down while you’re at work and turn off while you’re away on vacation.

When paired with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, you can quickly turn off the airflow in your home by shutting off the heat or air conditioning to prevent further spreading smoke, fanning a fire, or widening the coverage of carbon monoxide gas.


Smart Garage Door Openers

Smart garage door openers allow you to quickly access your garage door from nearly anywhere with your web-enabled smartphone. Smart garage door openers let you easily control garage doors and check to see if you accidentally left it open when rushing off to work.

In the event of an emergency, you may need to access your car quickly. Smart garage door openers allow you to open your garage safely away from flames or carbon monoxide, while allowing your garage to air out, decreasing the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. 


Smart Panic Buttons

Smart panic buttons allow you to reach emergency services with two simple button controls. These panic buttons can be installed in your home or carried with you. You can even install them on every floor in your home to make sure you always have quick access to emergency help.

Let’s say, for instance, you’re in your basement doing laundry when you finally hear your smoke alarm, and your phone is two floors up. Without knowing where the fire might be coming from, you can quickly call for help using your panic button.


Stay Safe With ADT Home Safety Detectors


Smart smoke, carbon monoxide, and flood detectors can help keep your family, pets, and home safe, even if you’re miles away. ADT smart detectors seamlessly integrate with other smart devices, allowing you to fully automate your home for faster access and better protection.

Learn more about how ADT can keep your home safe today.

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