It is not with ease that I write the term unsexy and smart home in the same sentence. But it is becoming very evident that one item that can save your life, has had the least amount of attention paid to it.
Yep, your grey matter now is pondering away at what is the unsexiest object or thing to do in your house. Your list is probably ranking the least favourite chores or appliance …. washing and that damn washing machine, cleaning the floor where my automated vacuum can’t get to, dirty window sills, and oh-how-did-I-forget, the window cleaning, of course!
Bzzzzzt, wrong!, the unsexiest thing in your house if your smoke alarm. Is there scientific proof of this – nope.
I came to the conclusion the smoke alarm is because it is the least integrated object in the house. Everyone has/wants smart lights, fans, taps but the one thing that can save your life has probably the smallest amount of development funding spent on it.
Argue with me all you like, but a smoke alarm should be front of mind when you renovate or even if you live in an apartment or house.
So what should a smart smoke alarm tell you? You obviously want it to shout out if there is a fire or start of a fire, a monitor to let you know the smoke alarms health status, how about a light to illuminate your way if there is a fire, a sensor to measure other atmospheric conditions inside your house (think gas leak), remote fire alarm testing instead of blindly aiming a broomstick at a small button way above your head, and if you have more than one smoke alarm for all of them to communicate with each other, how about unlock any digital door lock automatically in case of an alarm, and when not activated to imitate a disco glitter ball (hmmm, maybe not the last point).
What do we have today you might ask? We have WiFi smoke alarms, wow, WiFi to test them, still in a pretty mundane plastic shell that does not much else. And most of the world’s manufacturer’s of smart housing hardware and software is stuck on this course.
I can only find one that meets what I believe is the ’smart’ tag, and most of the criteria above. It probably wasn’t a love of smoke alarms that made that company design and build a smart one, but it is a high impact device for your home.
Have a look at your State guidelines (NSW below) on smoke alarms and in case you haven’t thought about them for a while they need to be replaced every 10 years.
Why did I really write this today? In many parts of the world the 1st of April is the annual test day for smoke alarms – it is no April fool joke. If it is not in your diary please make sure you test your fire alarm, don’t put it off, or do it this weekend, but always test at least once a year.
Stay safe. Be Smart!