Smart smoke alarm can speak, warn of smoke, carbon monoxide

Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM
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PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. company Nest Labs, makers of a so-called smart home thermostat, says its latest product -- a smoke alarm -- has similar smarts.

The Nest Protect alarm can also warn of toxic carbon monoxide, the company said in a release.

It is intended to mitigate some of the annoyances of current detectors -- false alarms from cooking smoke, middle-of-the-night chirps from low batteries -- that have caused some frustrated homeowners to simply disable alarms.

Almost two-thirds of U.S. home fire deaths happened in homes with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm, a report from the National Fire Protect Association said.

Although talking smoke detectors are not new, several Nest detectors around a house can be programmed to communicate with each other and give specific warnings such as "Heads up: There's smoke in the living room."

If it detects levels of smoke considered below emergency levels -- from burning toast in the kitchen, say -- it can be shut off with a simple wave of the hand, Nest Labs said.

The alarm can connect to Nest's cloud service via WiFi and can also be monitored and configured with an iOS application.

The device will be available in battery-powered or wired versions.

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