Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nest Protect

4:51 AM: I'm woken up by the sound of a loud chirp.  I roll over and pretend I didn't hear it.

4:52 AM: No luck, it's a smoke detector chirping from low battery.  Why can't this happen in the middle of the day?

I lay in bed for a while pretending that I can fall back asleep and ignore the chirp, I start thinking about the four Nest Protect systems I purchased and installed and how much I wish I had replaced all of my smoke alarms.  The only reason I hadn't replaced all of them is they are $99 each and I wanted to give them a test run before I completely replace them.

4:55 AM: I'm out of bed standing in the hallway at a strange angle hoping that on the next chirp I can determine which room has the chirping smoke alarm.  It's one of three because the hallway and one bedroom both have Nest Protect units in them and "they don't chirp!"

4:56 AM: The chirp comes from in front of me so it has to be the other bedroom.  I open the bedroom door, hear my teenage son stir and wonder how he can sleep through the chirping.  I open the battery compartment, yank out the battery, test it on my tongue (it seems strong) and then hear another chirp coming from behind me.

4:57 AM: I have opened every smoke detector on the floor and removed the battery because I simply want to get back to bed.  I will deal with this in the morning.

Then I heard another chirp.

How is that possible?  I don't have any more of these "old school" smoke detectors that chirp.  Is there something else in my house that makes a sound like that?

I stand very still and wait for it.


It's coming from the other bedroom.  The bedroom that has a Nest Protect in it.  I walk up to the door and crack it open trying not to wake my other son.  I look up at the Nest Protect unit on the ceiling and I'm stunned.  It chirps again.

Why am I stunned.  Let me quote from the Nest Protect website (italics added):
What is Nightly Promise?
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night because your smoke alarm was chirping? Nest Protect has a better way: Nightly Promise. Each night when you turn out the lights you’ll get a quick green glow which means the batteries and sensors of Nest Protect are working. It also means no dreaded chirps at midnight so you can sleep safe and sound.
 I pull the unit down and disconnect the power and tell my son to go back to sleep.  I take it in my office and it chirps again.

Problem Reported in my Phone

I decide to look at my phone and see that the Nest app has an indicator.  Above is the message reported for the Next Protect in that room.

5:05 AM: I find a phillips screwdriver, take apart the Nest Protect and remove the batteries.  

The chirping has ended and I can go back to sleep.

From Nest's website:
"We all know why smoke alarms are torn off the ceiling or missing batteries – because every time you make stir-fry, the smoke alarm cries wolf. Or just as you’re falling asleep, you hear a low-battery chirp. They’ve become annoying."
Nest Protect torn off the ceiling AND missing batteries

I have contacted Nest to send me a replacement unit.  What else can I do, it says right in the app "You need to replace Nest Protect".  Well, it's only a few months old but has a two year warranty so I'm assuming they are going to replace it.  I'll updated this entry when I find out.

I really do like these units.  I like how they talk to you when there is an issue (it's happened a couple of times with some kitchen incidents) but I have to be honest.  When it really comes down to it, there are only two reasons I purchased these very expensive smoke alarms.

1. I never wanted to wake up to a chirp again
2. I wanted the unit to notify me on my phone what was wrong.

(note to Nest: you failed both of these)

Am I going to replace the rest of the smoke alarms in my house with Nest Protects?  I don't know, we'll see how they handle this situation and I'll probably continue my evaluation another year and see how they do before I spend the money.

UPDATE:  I contacted Nest and they sent me a replacement unit.  I have it installed.  I sure do like the way these work when they do work.  We'll see how it goes for the next few months.

1 comment:

Chris Guiver said...

i added smoke alarms to the house alarm; they use the alarm battery should power go out; never give false alarms (type of sensor used in offices, requires more power than batteries provide).

yes old type (wired), but they too send messages to phone as they do alarm (specifically "type:zone 5 smoke") & if they go off; house phones ring along with usual siren, plus calling my cell phone (waking neighbors too so false alarm would piss more than just me off).

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