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First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector review – how to setup?

First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector review
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Does First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector tell incident location? Key voice location technology announce the type and location of the danger in your home, keeping your entire home safe and connected during an emergency. Easy mobile alerts to get remote notifications of an emergency in your home for 24/7 safety, plus track carbon monoxide levels, customize nightlights, and more, using First Alert’s Onelink Home app. Find more in First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector review.

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First Alert Alexa-enabled Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (2nd Gen) detector review

Specs
  • Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
  • Works with: Alexa, HomeKi
  • tHardwired/battery: Yes/Yes
Pros

+Works with Alexa and HomeKit

+Interconnectable

+Comes in wired and battery powered versions

Cons

-No Google Assistant compatibility

The second-generation Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm comes in battery and hardwired models. Similar to the Nest Protect, the Onelink will not only sound an alarm, but also specify the room affected and the type of alert: smoke or carbon monoxide. Also like the Nest Protect, if you have more than one Onelink alarm, you can interconnect them so that if one goes off, they all will. 

Onelink’s alarm uses photoelectric technology, which is generally better at detecting smoldering fires than are alarms that use ionization technology. However, the latter are better at detecting fast-burning fires.

An LED rings the middle of the alarm and changes color based on the alarm’s status. Green and blue indicate that the alarm is starting up or in pairing mode. Yellow means there’s a malfunction or a low battery, while red means there’s a fire or smoke condition.

The Onelink can be connected to HomeKit and Alexa (but not Google Assistant), so you can ask both Siri and Amazon’s voice assistant for the status of the smoke detector, but not much else. By contrast, if the Nest Protect detects fire or carbon monoxide, you can have it automatically turn on a security camera, open Lutron blinds, turn on Philips Hue lights, turn off your heat and more. 

Setup should theoretically be easy—just scan a HomeKit code in the Onelink app—but it took a few tries to get it to work. The Onelink smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is good on its own, but the Nest Protect does more for the same price. 

First Alert Alexa-enabled OneLink Safe & Sound Smoke and CO Alarm detector review

Specs
  • Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
  • Works with: Alexa, Homekit
  • Hardwired/battery: Yes/No

Pros

  • Tells you the type and location of emergency in your home or office.
  • Features high-quality speakers that can be heard through noise-canceling microphones.
  • Comes with an adapter plug so you can easily and quickly set it up without rewiring.
  • Built-in Alexa voice services allow you to communicate with Alexa using the alarm.

 Cons

  • Some users have complained that the OneLink app has a steep learning curve.
  • A little expensive.

Boasting built-in Alexa voice services, the Safe & Sound smoke and alarm detector allows you to play music, audiobooks, and even listen to the news as you enjoy up-to-date fire safety protection in your home or office.

Connectivity

In addition to built-in Alexa compatibility, the alarm is compatible with Apple HomeKit as well. You can download the Onelink home app (Android or iOS) and use it to control and monitor the alarm through your phone as well.

Voice commands

The Alexa-compatible fire detector also uses hands-free commands to allow you to control other smart home devices such as lights, too. 

Speakers

The high-end, omni-directional speakers equipped with crisp vocals and powerful bass can alert you even through noise cancelling headphones. 

You can also use the unit’s Onelink Home companion app to remotely test or silence your alarm, control your entertainment, and even adjust the nightlight color and brightness remotely.

Since you must link your apps and accounts, there is a bit of effort involved in getting this model up and running. And it’s by no means cheap, though we consider all the extra features and functionalities to be well worth the cost. If you’re an Alexa or Apple HomeKit user seeking an all-in-one smart home solution, the Onelink Safe & Sound is our first recommendation.

Installation

Featuring a simple hardwiring design, all you have to do is plug the unit in using the adapter provided to get it up and running – no need for complex wiring!

Alternate of First Alert Alexa-enabled smoke detector

Arlo Smart Smoke/CO Alarm

The noise that smoke detectors make when they go off is both loud and distinctive, which makes it trivial to detect. If you have compatible Arlo cameras (Pro, Pro 2, Ultra, Ultra 2 and Floodlight) and you pay for the Arlo Smart cloud subscription service, you get Smart Smoke/CO Alarm detection.

Available in the Smart Notifications section of the app, you can turn on the detection on a per-camera basis. When enabled, the cameras will automatically listen for the high-pitched sound that alarms make and ping you a notification when it happens.

To detect audio accurately, Arlo only works with smoke alarms that use the industry-standard T3 alarms (three beeps followed by a silent period), or CO detectors that use the T4 alarms (four beeps, followed by a period of silence). Most big names do but there’s no guarantee that yours will. Arlo recommends testing your camera with smoke alarm to see if the feature works.

You may need to reposition your cameras to get the best detection; depending no how your house is laid out, this may not be possible.

As well as notifying you about the alert, your triggered camera will record a clip, so you can see what caused the alarm, assuming your device is pointing the correct way. You can, then, use the information you get to call emergency services if there’s actually a fire.

You can’t disable smoke alarms or take any other direct action, but that’s a limitation common to all listening devices.

If you’ve got a smoke alarm system that you’re happy with and you’ve got Arlo cameras around your home, this is a neat and easy way to get smart alerts. Depending on camera position, Arlo may not work in your home, but it’s quick and simple to test before you buy a dedicated smart system.

What we love

  • Works with your existing system
  • Gives you video clips as well as notifications
  • Easy to turn on

What we don’t love

  • Needs compatibility testing
  • May not work if your cameras aren’t in the right position
  • Requires an Arlo Smart subscription

Editor’s recommendations