A smoke detector is a vital piece of safety equipment for any home, helping to keep you safe from house fires and choking smoke. Smoke detectors require regular replacement every 10 years, and buying the best smoke detector available can help you to stay as safe as possible from fire. There are many different models of smoke detector on the market in 2020, however, they offer different detection methods and various power sources, and it can be hard to tell which models of smoke detector are the best smoke detector 2020.
We have done the researched and tested a wide range of different smoke detectors to help you find the best smoke detector for your needs, narrowing down the vast and confusing field to a short list of our top 10 smoke detectors. Below, you’ll find our best smoke detector reviews, exploring what makes each of these top 10 best smoke detectors 2020 stand out from the crowd. With our best smoke detector review list, you can find the best model of best smoke and carbon monoxide detector for your home with ease.
View the Best Smoke Detector, Below.
- First Alert BRK 3120B Photoelectric Smoke Detector
- Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Kidde i12040 120V AC Wire-In Smoke Alarm
- First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Ardwolf Photoelectric Wireless Smoke Detector
- Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke Detector
- First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Wireless Smoke Detector
- Kidde KN-COSM-BA Voice Warning Alarm
- Alert Pro Photoelectric Sensor Fire Alarm
- vitowell Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
1. First Alert BRK 3120B Photoelectric Smoke Detector
The First Alert BRK 3120B Photoelectric Smoke Detector is a premium smoke detector that offers a wide range of helpful extra features to help keep you safe from fires in all household situations.
Its dual sensor smoke alarm design combines the mechanisms of a photoelectric smoke alarm and an ionization smoke alarm to detect all types of fire with ease, and the loud 85-decibel alarm bell gives instant warning of potential dangers. This model of smoke detector can be linked to up to 12 smoke alarms and 6 bells to maximize early warning, sounding all devices as soon as one of them is tripped.
Combining photoelectric and ionization sensors in a single smoke detector, the First Alert BRK 3120B Photoelectric Smoke Detector gives comprehensive protection from all types of fire in a single device.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a well designed wireless battery powered combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, offering full compatibility with other Nest smart devices for a fully connected home system.
This model of smoke detector combines clear vocal alerts that differentiate between threat types with smartphone notifications to ensure that you stay entirely up to date on any possible hazards in your home for maximized safety and information clarity.
The clear voice warnings provided by the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm give clearer and more precise notifications of hazard types than traditional smoke detectors, helping you to stay safe.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Kidde i12040 120V AC Wire-In Smoke Alarm
The Kidde i12040 120V AC Wire-In Smoke Alarm is one of the best-hardwired smoke detectors available in 2020. Featuring practical backup battery design, this smoke detector promises to stay fully operational even in the event of a power outage.
This model of hardwired smoke detector can be linked to up to 18 other smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and a further 6 alarm bells, providing an interlinked alarm system to maximize warning and protection from fire and other related household hazards.
As an added bonus, the tamper resistant locking design of the case protects your premium smoke alarm from theft, helping to keep you as safe as possible in all situations.
Offering high performance and security, the Kidde i12040 120V AC wire in smoke alarm is a premium hardwired smoke alarm that promises a high level of safety and protection in any home situation.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector
The First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector is a powerful and versatile hardwired smoke detector with added carbon monoxide detector functionality. The backup battery system allows this model of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to remain fully operational even in the event of a power outage.
This model of combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector can be connected to other compatible First Alert or BRK detectors, ensuring all connected alarms sound simultaneously when one of them detects any threat, keeping you fully informed of dangers anywhere in your home.
The combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector design of the First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector gives full warning of fire, smoke, or carbon monoxide hazards without requiring additional devices.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Ardwolf Photoelectric Wireless Smoke Detector
The Ardwolf Photoelectric Wireless Smoke Detector is a battery powered smoke detector with an in-built 10-year lithium battery, offering a full 10-year lifespan with no need for battery replacement.
This allows it to remain fully operational through power outages with minimal maintenance across the entirety of its 10-year lifespan, keeping you safe with minimal effort required.
When this photoelectric smoke detector detects smoke or combustion particles in the air, it sounds loud alarms and flashes red LED lights at high speed for visual and audible warning of smoke and fire hazards in your home no matter what the environment may be.
Requiring no hard wiring or battery replacement, the Ardwolf Photoelectric Wireless Smoke Detector promises to stay fully operational through its 10-year lifespan with minimal maintenance required.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke Detector
Easy to use and easy to install, the Kidde RF SM DC Wireless Smoke Detector is a user-friendly and powerful smoke detector. Using ionization sensor technology, this model of smoke detector excels at detecting sudden flares of fire from flammable liquids and materials, keeping you safe from unexpected flames.
It can be linked to up to 18 compatible smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and 6 additional alarms and relays, giving comprehensive coverage so that if one alarm detects smoke or fire, then all of them will sound, maximizing your safety and early warning of potential fire hazards.
The Kidde RF SM DC Wireless Smoke Detector is an easy to use ionization smoke detector that easily provides complete protection from smoke and fire across your home.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Wireless Smoke Detector
The First Alert 2 in 1 Z Wave Wireless Smoke Detector is a powerful combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, using photoelectric sensing systems to detect slow burning smoldering fires and electrochemical sensors for early warning of rising carbon monoxide concentration in the air.
This smoke and carbon monoxide detector effectively provides comprehensive smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detection without any need for additional devices, making it an excellent choice for simplifying your home protection and safety system with minimal installation effort required in any situation.
With its wireless connection to a Z Wave hub, the First Alert 2 in 1 Z Wave Wireless Smoke Detector is a smart and modern model of smoke detector.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Kidde KN-COSM-BA Voice Warning Alarm
The Kidde KN COSM BA Voice Warning Alarm is an unusual model of combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, offering vocal warnings rather than a more traditional alarm bell.
This enables it to provide different warnings for different hazards, making it instantly clear whether the danger detected is a smoke or fire hazard or a high concentration of carbon monoxide.
This extra information makes the safety process easier to parse in a hurry, giving you all the information necessary and making it easier to react correctly to the situation.
The combination design of this smoke detector allows it to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide without requiring a second detector to be installed, simplifying your home safety system significantly.
The voice warnings provided by the Kidde KN COSM BA Voice Warning Alarm give a more accurate indication of hazard types than more traditional smoke alarms, helping this model to stand out from the crowd.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Alert Pro Photoelectric Sensor Fire Alarm
Offering low power consumption and a high capacity 10-year lithium battery sealed into the casing, the Alert Pro Photoelectric Sensor Fire Alarm is a premium disposable smoke detector.
This photoelectric fire alarm is easy to install, requiring no wiring, and its 10-year lithium battery needs no replacement at any point in its standard 10-year lifespan.
With a sealed in 10-year lithium battery instead of a standard battery housing system, the Alert Pro Photoelectric Sensor Fire Alarm requires no wiring or battery replacement throughout its 10-year lifespan.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. vitowell Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
The vitowell Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector includes a photoelectric smoke detector, giving warning of slow burning fires and smoke, and a high accuracy electrochemical carbon monoxide detector to alert you to the presence of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the air.
This is an easy to use, easy to install battery operated combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector, offering a high level of protection with minimal effort required to get it up and running, no matter what your level of DIY expertise may be.
Combining smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection, the vitowell Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector comprehensively detects the most common airborne hazards to keep you safe from smoke in most household situations.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Smoke Detector Buyer’s Guide
Photoelectric vs. Ionization Smoke Detectors
Photoelectric smoke detectors detect smoke particles in the air, making them particularly good at detecting the smoke from slow building, smoldering fires. Ionization smoke detectors, however, detect chemical changes in the air due to burning and excel at detecting fires from highly flammable objects or liquids.
Effectively, photoelectric smoke alarms are best for slower fires, while ionization smoke alarms are better for fast, sudden fires. As such, the best option is a combination of the two; either single, dual sensor smoke detectors or a selection of different detectors across your home to maximize the chance of detecting hazardous fires as early as possible.
Smoke detectors come in two different power source options: battery powered and hardwired. A battery powered smoke alarm runs on batteries, making them easy to install and reliable in most situations, but running the risk of the batteries running down and leaving the smoke detector non-functional.
Hardwired smoke detectors, however, connect directly to the wiring and electrical system of your home. This type of smoke detector often requires professional installation, making them harder to install yourself, and will not function during power outages. As such, the best option is a hybrid smoke detector; a hardwired model that includes backup batteries to ensure that it continues to operate properly during periods of a power outage.
How to Install Smoke Detector?
Different types of smoke detector can be installed in different ways. In general, you can install a battery powered smoke detector yourself, but you should probably call a professional to install a hardwired smoke detector model in your home. For the best operation, smoke detectors should be installed on the ceiling of your room, at least 12 inches from the nearest wall and at least 10 feet away from any kitchen appliances.
Measure that distance, and mark where you’re going to put the smoke alarm. Place your smoke alarm on the ceiling and mark each of the screw points with a pencil, leaving small pencil marks on the ceiling to guide your drilling in later steps. Then, drill holes into the ceiling where you’ve marked with the pencil already. Most ceilings are built with a layer of plaster over a timber frame, and if your drilling goes into the timber frame, you’ll have an easier time with the next steps.
If you’ve just drilled through plaster uninterrupted, however, you’re going to need to reinforce your holes with anchors before you insert any screws! If needed, insert some screw anchors into the holes. If you don’t need those, then carefully screw the baseplate of your smoke alarm into the ceiling, making sure every screw is firmly housed in the holes.
Then, return to the floor and put the battery into your new smoke alarm, following the instructions for your particular model of smoke alarm. After that, you can fix the alarm into the bracket on the ceiling, and give it a quick test to make sure it’s working, using the test button built into the smoke alarm.
Why is my Smoke Detector Chirping?
If you have a battery powered smoke detector, you might find that it starts to make an intermittent chirping noise. This is because smoke detectors are designed to make a chirping sound when the battery needs changing, and occasionally due to other battery-related errors. If your smoke detector starts chirping, your first step should always be to change the battery in the smoke detector immediately.
If your smoke detector is chirping after you’ve replaced the battery, then your problem may be a different battery related issue. The easiest way to deal with these is to reset the smoke alarm manually; often, it simply hasn’t realized that you’ve changed the battery and needs to be reset to refresh the processor, particularly with newer models of smoke detector.
If this doesn’t help, try removing the battery again and putting it back in, as the connectors may not have made full contact. It is also worth checking that the battery drawer has been fully closed, as leaving it partially open can prevent the battery from making contact with the terminals properly.
How to Change Smoke Detector Battery?
If you’ve got a battery powered smoke detector rather than a hardwired smoke detector, you’re going to need to replace its batteries sometimes. Most smoke detectors can last for about 6 months before requiring a battery replacement, so you should aim to change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year, or as soon as your smoke detector starts to chirp.
Replacing the battery on your smoke detector is an easy process in most cases, as smoke detectors are usually designed to make this process as easy as possible. Most models of smoke detector either have an easy to remove cover or a body that can be unscrewed from the mounting bracket to give easy access to the battery compartment.
Start by opening the case of your smoke detector. Depending on the model of smoke detector you own, this will probably require either gently prying open the cover or unscrewing it. Inside, you will see the three main parts of the smoke detector: a sensor chamber, a horn, and a battery.
Carefully unclip the old battery from its holder. Most models of smoke detector use standard 9-volt lithium batteries. Replace this with a new battery of the same type, making sure that the positive and negative terminals are correctly oriented and that they are firmly pressed against the contact points.
Then, close the cover again, making sure that it is completely closed, as leaving it partly open can prevent the battery from making full contact with the terminals and can stop it from working correctly. Then return the smoke detector to its base if you have removed it, and press the test button on the surface of the smoke detector to check that everything is working properly. If all is as it should be, the smoke detector should make a beeping or chirping sound when the test button is pressed.
How Often to Replace Smoke Detector?
No matter what type of smoke detector you own, it should be entirely replaced every 10 years. This is for important safety reasons; the older a smoke alarm is, the less reliable it is. The failure statistics indicate that 3% of all smoke alarms fail within one year, and 95%+ of all smoke alarms will have failed after 30 years.
The 10-year recommendation is designed to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and safety, as approximately 27% of smoke alarms are expected to fail after 10 years. This is a high enough figure to warrant replacement, but due to the cost of smoke alarms, replacing them more frequently than this is simply economically impractical.
Smoke alarm technology is continually improving, however, so if you ensure that you regularly test your smoke alarms, newer models may be able to keep going for longer than 10 years. The working parts of the smoke detection mechanisms can become clogged with dust, grease, nicotine, or insects over time, making them far less reliable and increasing the risk of failure.
This means that no matter how careful you are with your smoke alarm, its effectiveness will steadily decrease with age. Replacing your smoke alarms every 10 years is the best way to ensure that you have the highest possible chance of detecting hazardous smoke and fires without vast expense.
Make sure you always know the expiration date of every smoke alarm in your home. Most smoke detector models require replacement every 10 years or so, as the mechanisms within the smoke detectors eventually wear out and become less functional.
Did you know?
In 40 percent of fire deaths in the home in recent years, no smoke alarm was present. The presence of a working smoke detector makes a massive difference to your odds of survival in the event of a fire!