12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2013 6:06 AM by cawgijoe RSS

Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO

 nest_brian CertifiedPro

As a lot of your saw today, we announced a new product -- the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm:


Meet the Nest Protect smoke and CO alarm. | Nest


We created a few threads earlier to address a couple of specific features. But now let's talk more about the product.


What questions do you have? What do the rings mean? How far do you have to be when you wave at at the alarm?


Let's have at it.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     jcanavera Champion

    Looks like you have lots of questions waiting.  Check out the Help with Nest Protect thread.



  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     TheDerek Guru

    First just general comments.

    The price point is right. If people expect a sub-$100 product from nest, ha! My dumb hardwired combo smoke/co detectors were over $40.


    Anyways there are two things that have to be there before ill ever buy one.

    Hardwired interconnect. I dont care how much testing you do, I dont want to put my life into the hands of a wireless signal. On top of that, it forces an all or nothing replacement of a household. Currently I have 3 different brands of detectors that talk to each other just fine.

    Temperature sensors. I want to be able to use different room temps as the set point at different times of day.

    I dont care if the hardware is there, I want the software too. I wont shell that kind of money to wait.


    Ok questions.

    1. My 1st bedroom and master detectors are about 70 feet apart and the hallway detector is in between.  What safeguards are in place if im in my master sleeping, the first bedroom is burning, and the hallway malfunctions, effectively putting the master detector out of range of the 1st bedroom.


    2. Was the protect developed at the expense of the winter update for nest? There are still glaring annoyances still 2 years after launch. I am not getting what I paid for. Your shortfalls are forcing me to edit my schedule by hand almost daily and I have a regular schedule.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     Sawdust Explorer

    I second Derek's thought on the interconnect. Why leave this out? It is code in Ontario (Canada) that new installs be interconnected. I have three units and it seems to be a replace all 3 at $400. Or do none. I would have loved to have used one in the main area, or sleeping area, but then I lose the most important feature of the new systems, interconnect.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     HiVoltage New Nester

    I also agree about the interconnect. Replacing 6 smoke alarms would be an outrageous expense. Even if it were affordable, I have reservations about solely using a wireless interface as a communications medium to ensure safety.


    in addition, unlike the thermostat, I don't see this product as a long term investment that will save me money.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO

    First, I'll say I never thought I could get excited about a Smoke Detector, but WOW, you guys have really hit it out of the park with addressing all of the biggest hassles with a conventional detector and then thinking of great ways to make it better.


    Obviously, there is still one big downside: COST.  There are no two ways around the fact that a single Nest protect costs about the same as a whole house worth of more conventional Smoke/CO detectors.  I was still excited about the product and starting to convince myself that it was worth it due to all of the extra coolness, until I read the manual.


    According to the manual, Nest Protect has an EXPIRATION DATE and must be replaced every 7 years!  I can see telling myself into the extra cost ONCE, but not every seven years, that is just crazy, especially knowing that MOST of the detector is still good even after 7 years.


    A feature I would hope to see on the Nest Protect 2.0 is something like a "filter cartridge" that contains all of the sensors that expire and nothing else.  Even if these cartridges were $30 a piece it would still make me much more likely to buy a Protect, and much more likely to actually replace the expiring sensors in a timely fashion. 


    As it is, I just can't see spending that much on smoke detectors knowing that the whole thing will need to be replaced every 7 years.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     Pantherman007 New Nester

    Well, the FEMA recommendation is to replace *any* smoke detector after 8-10 years.  I'd prefer to see Nest sync up their schedule with the regulators, but a 7-year window (for a more complicated device) isn't that far off.


    What's I'd *really* like to see is Nest Protect with a high-quality speaker component and the ability to use them for whole-house audio distribution in addition to smoke & CO detection.  Some kind of Sonos/Airplay type application.  All of the pieces are already there, just might take a review of the frequency range in the speaker and QOS of the smoke/security traffic versus audio.  Would totally change my mindset on spending the $$$, even a little more and for lots of devices all at once. 


    I will not buy this without resolution on the Interconnect wire issue, though.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
    New Nester

    I think that I have one concern about the units lack of an ION type smoke sensor.  About a year ago I replaced all eight of my smoke detectors.  I had a single photo-electric sensor and I replaced all of the units with a dual sensor model photo/Ion.  The cost of the units, about thirty five dolars per unit.


    I am not a fire detection expert but I know that each of the two sensors have unique abilities in detecting fire/smoke/heat.


    I would like to know Nest's reasoning behind a single sensor approach.

  • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
     Keyth New Nester

    I Have some very pointed Questions regarding the "Protect" product. I hope your the person as tier 1 & 2 could not answer my questions.


    1- I imagine the Protect will have full UL listed labels for Residential Dwelling ? Multi-dwelling ?


    2- How will nest deal with the "End Of Life" schedules on both CO and Smoke ? Most all CO sensors use an electro-chemical sensor element.  This element typically has a 5 year EOL as the chemical portion of the sensor drys up. A photo-electric Smoke detector (most manufacturers agree) have and expected EOL of at least 10 years.  This means your CO chamber will need to be replaced in the field if the owner desires a fully functional sensor(s).


    3- Nothing is published (as of yet) regarding technical specifications on the CO catch threshold in PPM.  UL has adopted and stipulates a flawed and outdated (in my opinion) Standard.  Read what an expert in the Gas Business has to say www.coexperts.com. The public cannot even buy a UL product that exceeds and outperforms the UL standard !  This means elderly, young, fetus, aged and persons with respiratory conditions cannot buy a better performing UL sensor at any price.

    It may take a smart game changing company like you to really make a difference and get UL standards upgraded.


    4- Do you have a alternative RF solution in place to interconnect the sounders on all devices in the event a WiFi mesh is lost ? Inter-connectivity of the sounders is what is UL required with 110 volt based products.  No specs or answers on this at this time.  


    5- I have more questions on the PROFESSIONAL Security System compatible model you plan to offer 1st quarter 2014


    k@keyth.com     cell 847-417-0000

    • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
       Mod-Sarah Nest Employee

      Hi all!


      I am going to take a stab at answering as many of your questions in one post as I can, so get ready!




      The Nest application allows you to see that all of your Nest Protects are connected and communicating.  If one fails, it will show as such on the app.  Additionally, Nightly Promise will show you that each Protect is working when you first turn out the lights.  That is the easiest way to know you are safe.


      Nightly Promise


      I can assure you that development efforts for the Nest Learning Thermostat are ongoing.  We have teams of engineers devoted to that product and in fact there are improvements coming in the 4.0 application release.


      4.0 Nest App


      I know from some of your other posts that there are things you are awaiting, but trust me that we are working on enhancements and hopefully some of those will address your concerns.


      Sawdust and HiVoltage,


      Please note that there is not standard for communication between smoke detectors on the market today.  A Google search on the topic will reveal a lot of different ways this is done.  I am sure that if Nest can find a way to make this happen, it is something they will consider.  I can't however, speak to future enhancements, so don't take that as a sign that it is currently being addressed or will be.  I simply don't have that information.




      I have discussed in other posts that codes are very strict about allowing users to work on a smoke detector.  I can't imagine that they would legally allow a consumer to replace something as important as the sensors.  Some places are trying to restrict access to batteries too, and that is much less sensitive than the sensor array.




      The life of most CO sensors is about 5 years.  Nest Protect uses an improved one that will last 7 years and that is what determines the replacement time of the Protect.  A plain smoke detector needs to replaced by 10 years at most as you mention.  Feel free to post your Product Suggestion under that section:


      Product Suggestions




      The Nest approach is a multi-sensor approach.  We utilize a photoelectric sensor for particles in the air for smouldering fires, a heat sensor to detect hot fires, a carbon monoxide sensor that also helps to indicate a fire, and finally, a humidity sensor so that the Protect doesn't get tricked by that shower or boiling pot of water.  All of these work together with the advanced software on the Protect to determine the likelihood of a fire and avoid false alarms.


      And last but not least Keyth,


      The UL listing is in the works and we fully expect that certification to be granted by the time the product ships.  Watch Nest.com for announcements!


      I touched on the sensor life in the reply to Pantherman007, since the CO sensor expires first at 7 years, that is the life of the Nest Protect.  Also realize that if a sensor were to fail prematurely, you will be alerted as to that.


      The CO standards are published in the User Guide on Pg 24.


      Protect User Guide


      You can look at either model, the specs are the same.


      We utilize Wireless Interconnect which is not WiFi for purposes of the Protects talking to each other.  This article explains it, it is a different protocol than your house's WiFi network.


      Wireless Interconnect


      If there are failures, as I pointed out to TheDerek above, any failures will be indicated on your mobile app and the Nightly Promise will warn you as well.


      I hope that helps!




      Sarah G

      • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
         GreenEnergyAut CertifiedPro

        We are a Nest Certified Professional installer. We install hundreds of units per month. Very disappointed with the Nest Protect for a number of reasons.

        (1) The Nest Protect is square. It makes it very difficult to line up correctly, and the customer complains if it is not perfect. It costs us more to install. Why is it square? Nest Thermostat is round. Everything else on ceilings is round (recessed lighting, existing smokes, speakers, fire sprinklers). Why did they have to make it square? Terrible design.

        (2) Battery life is specified as "multi year". What does that mean? 2 years? 7 years? We can't get an answer from Nest. We will be getting service calls from people if the batteries don't last at least 3. A big item that Nest Protect is supposed to eliminate (chirping at low battery) isn't really true - battery will need to be replaced more frequently, making it a headache for the user and possibly the installer as well, as we will lose money on service calls.

        (3) Not green. Customers like to think of Nest products as eco-friendly. 3 to 6 Lithium AA batteries that last an unknown amount of time, and a unit that lasts only 7 years before being trash, is anything but eco friendly. It is a terrible waste. The unit is not available in contractor packaging, so when we do large jobs, we are buying tons of unnecessary packaging. Shame on Nest for shipping something so environmentally irresponsible.

        Compared to the CodeOne ($19 at Home Depot) or  Kidde 10-year models ($25 to $50 depending on location - you don't need CO detection in all locations)/ These units guarantee 10 year battery life and operation, while using less lithium that the Nest, far less over the lifespan.

        We are experiencing high demand for the Nest Protect- like the thermostat, people want the cool factor- and we charge a fortune to install them, but we install these with a feeling of guilt that they will be dumped in the landfills sooner than other products we could recommend. Nest should be ashamed about this product and pull it off the shelf until the battery life and product life can be increased to beyond the levels of the products available today.

        Why did nest do this? So many more sensible, lasting product areas - wireless door locks, energy monitoring, Lighting, home audio - all areas would make more sense to have Nest innovations in. We are deeply disappointed.

        Jack Cauley

        • Re: Let's talk about Nest Protect: Smoke + CO
           cawgijoe Guru

          Square does not bother me. It does not take long to align with a wall.

          Batteries should last more than a year. My guess would be a couple of years. Should be simple to replace. Also, the Protect will tell you in advance when they need replacement. If the homeowner can't do this themselves, at least the contractor can schedule in advance.

          7 years is still a long time and I believe that replacing sensors in the detector is not something that is allowed for safety reasons. No guarantee that someone will replace the sensor(s) when it is time. I would like to see a recycling program instituted by Nest however. Yes, it should be available in contractor packaging. That is a very good idea.

          Sorry that you are disapointed, so far I'm happy with the Protect.