Best Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are an essential part of any household and frequently mandated by law to be included in rental properties. Although many people associate smoke alarms with cheap units that go off way too often (especially if things go awry in the kitchen) modern alarms are generally sophisticated enough to tell when there's a real threat, reducing the amount of nuisance alarms.
Alarms can vary quite widely in their performance and price, with higher-priced models often including detection for both smoke and carbon monoxide, as well as the ability to network alarms together for a more comprehensive household alarm system. These best smoke detectors incorporate both audio and visual alarms, as well as the ability to detect smoldering fires, full flames, and carbon monoxide. They are also easy to install and test, while including a mute button to quickly handle any false alarms. Not all of our picks detect multiple types of threats due but all offer the reliable ability to detect a fire threat.
Kidde KN-COSM-B Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Talking Alarm
First Alert SA320CN Double Sensor Battery-Powered Smoke and Fire Alarm
First Alert SC9120B Hardwire Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup
Kidde KN-COSM-XTR-B Intelligent Alarm, Combination Carbon Monoxide, Fire and Smoke
Kidde 0914E Basic Smoke Detector
The Kidde KN-COSM-BA is an excellent all-around smoke detector, with the ability to detect both fires and carbon monoxide. This battery-operated alarm is quick and easy to install, and includes a test/reset button to ensure that the unit is working properly. A hush feature is also included to quiet any false alarms.
The KN-COSM-BA is a talking alarm, which means that it will verbally identify the type of hazard detected. This allows for a quicker appropriate reaction to the type of threat present. A low battery and end-of-life feature causes this smoke detector to "chirp" when the battery is low or the alarm has reached the end of its seven-year life span, allowing you to always be sure that the detector is functioning properly.
The First Alert SA320CN is one of the relatively few smoke detectors to offer dual dire detection. This smoke detector uses both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors because while most detectors use only ionization sensors, photoelectric sensors are better able to detect smoldering fires before they erupt into large flames. Many professionals recommend that every home have either both types of detectors or an all-in-one unit such as this for utmost safety.
The SA320CN utilizes cutting edge technology to better distinguish real threats from false alarms, although a mute button allows for quick silencing of nuisance alarms. This battery-powered smoke detector does not offer carbon monoxide detection, but its dual sensor technology makes its slightly higher price tag well worth the investment.
The First Alert SC9120B can be networked with other smoke detectors to create a household fire and carbon monoxide safety network. This ability to connect the detector with other devices allows for added peace of mind, since when one alarm goes off, it will signal to others elsewhere in the house to go off as well. The SC9120B uses both visual and audible warnings with separate indicators for smoke or carbon monoxide, while being programmed to ensure that nuisance alarms are few and far between. A silence/test button is also included.
Although the SC9120B is a wired device, it comes with a battery backup to ensure functionality even during a power outage. Although this smoke detector is pricier than most, its networking ability and smoke and carbon monoxide detection capabilities are worth the investment. First Alert backs this model with a seven-year warranty.
The Kidde KN-COSMXTR-BA detects smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide effectively while using a voice alarm to identify the type of hazard and speed up the appropriate reaction. This feature can save lives, since it allows for quickly determining the threat and taking the correct action to address it.
Easy to install, this battery-powered smoke detector does not include a networking feature, but uses both visual and a very loud audible alarms to announce a threat. A hush feature is included, which temporarily silences the alarm if the user believes it is a false threat. Kidde offers a ten-year warranty with this smoke detector.
The Kidde i9040 is an affordable and basic smoke detector. This battery-powered device is easy to install with the included bracket, features a low-profile design, and includes a three-year warranty. Although the i9040 does not include a lot of extras and might be somewhat more prone to false alarms than more expensive devices, it offers a reliable capability to detect smoke using its ionization sensors.
A test button is included to periodically ensure the detector is functioning properly and the alarm volume is very loud, ensuring everyone nearby will hear it clearly. If something very simple and budget-friendly is what you're looking for, this is a solid choice.