Are you looking for a safety and security system that goes beyond anti-theft measures? Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked but equally important! Nowadays, you can get these two essential features in one device. It's vital to get a reliable smoke and carbon monoxide detector for your own peace of mind and safety.
So, we searched the internet to find the best models available. Our top pick is First Alert's Battery-Powered Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This product uses photoelectric and electrochemical sensors to quickly detect fires and dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Be sure to check out the rest of our 10 favorite products! We've also created a buying guide to get you acquainted with the types and features of these two-in-one alarms.
We picked our 10 best smoke and carbon monoxide detectors based on the following criteria:
Be sure to check out our buying guide below for complete details on each of these points.
Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm
Code One Combo Alarm
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
BRK Hardwired Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors, 6 Pack
2 Pack Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm With Smart Features
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Combo Pack
Hardwired Interconnected Smoke and CO Alarm
Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Best for Ease of Use and Installation
Best for Dependable Hardwired and Interconnectable Protection
Best for a Seamless Smart Tech Experience
Best for Extended Life
Best for Larger Homes
Best for Visual Alarms
Best for Remote Monitoring and Control
Best for Separate Placement
Best for Versatile Use
Best Compact Alarm for Discreet Installation
|Power source||Battery, 2AA||Hard-wired with 2 AA batteries for backup||Battery, 6 AA||Battery, 10-year lithium||Hard-wired with 9V batteries for backup||Battery, 3 AAA||Hardwired, lithium battery backup||Battery, 9V||Hardwired with 9V DC battery backup||Battery, 2AA|
|Sensor||Photoelectric||Ionization||Ionization and photoelectric||Photoelectric||Ionization||Photoelectric||Electrochemical, photoelectric||Electrochemical, ionization||Electrochemical, photoelectric||Electrochemical, Photoelectric|
|Features||Single test/silence button||LED indicators, voice alarm, interconnectable||Smartphone alerts, notification updates, voice alarm||LCD display, LED indicators||Single test/silence button, interconnectable to other First Alert detectors||LCD display, light and sound alarms||Test button, LED indicators, sound alarms, voice and smartphone app alerts||Single test/silence button, end of life alert, tamper resistance||LED indicator, test button, quick disconnect||LED indicators, single test/silence button|
Here are Amazon's most highly-reviewed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with varying power sources, sensors, and features. Plus, they all meet UL safety standards!
|Power source||Battery, 2AA|
|Features||Single test/silence button|
|Power source||Hard-wired with 2 AA batteries for backup|
|Features||LED indicators, voice alarm, interconnectable|
|Power source||Battery, 6 AA|
|Sensor||Ionization and photoelectric|
|Features||Smartphone alerts, notification updates, voice alarm|
|Power source||Battery, 10-year lithium|
|Features||LCD display, LED indicators|
|Power source||Hard-wired with 9V batteries for backup|
|Features||Single test/silence button, interconnectable to other First Alert detectors|
|Power source||Battery, 3 AAA|
|Features||LCD display, light and sound alarms|
|Power source||Hardwired, lithium battery backup|
|Features||Test button, LED indicators, sound alarms, voice and smartphone app alerts|
|Power source||Battery, 9V|
|Features||Single test/silence button, end of life alert, tamper resistance|
|Power source||Hardwired with 9V DC battery backup|
|Features||LED indicator, test button, quick disconnect|
|Power source||Battery, 2AA|
|Features||LED indicators, single test/silence button|
Given that you are considering something so crucial for your home's safety, deciding on a particular smoke and CO detector requires extra effort. Our buying guide will inform you about common alarm types and features.
Existing state or town regulations regarding smoke and CO detectors will significantly affect your decision-making process. These rules will guide you on how many detectors to get, such as on a per floor or per room basis. The rules will also spell out the detectors' placement and type.
Some states have specific regulations on the power source of the detector, further limiting your options. The power sources will be explained in detail later on.
The following link provides a quick rundown of existing legislation on smoke and CO detectors, but the surest way to clarify your state's or town's regulations is to contact your state or local housing department.
There are generally three types of power sources for smoke and CO detectors: hard-wired, battery-operated, and plug-in.
Hard-wired alarms are connected to a house's electrical wiring and require professional installation. These usually come equipped with backup batteries, which kick in during power failure. Replacing or servicing them may be more time-consuming and inconvenient if you can't do it yourself. You also can't easily change or modify where the alarms go because they connect to your home's wiring.
Since the wiring these detectors attach to is typically in your home's ceilings, you'll be putting your detectors in the ideal place. Installing detectors on or close to ceilings is best because smoke tends to rise. When smoke detectors are near the floor, the alarms may not sound in time or at all.
Carbon monoxide that travels upwards or comes from the top of a hot water heater might also miss a lower-placed alarm's detection. However, hard-wired alarms often require a ladder to reach them. If you need to replace a battery or the entire alarm, you might need help. Those with physical limitations and vertigo, as well as aging homeowners, may find the high placement inconvenient.
Other types of detectors use batteries or are plugged directly into outlets. Non-hardwired alarms are generally easier to install and may come with the hardware needed to mount the device on the ceiling or wall, although a drill is often necessary.
The battery life varies across models; some need annual replacement, while others contain sealed lithium batteries that last only for the device's lifetime. Some states require battery-operated detectors to have a 10-year capacity.
While plug-in models don't require batteries or professional installation, these alarms stop working when the power goes out. Not all models are mountable or come with long power cords. Since outlets tend to be located close to floors, you'll need a cord long enough to run to the alarm, which ideally should be near the ceiling.
Many newer constructions are governed to install only hard-wired alarms, so battery or plug-in models might not be an option. We strongly recommend looking over state laws and regulations before choosing a model type.
The next important consideration is the device's quality, namely, if it was manufactured under the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Standard. We recommend going for a model with as recent a manufacture date as possible, since these devices tend to lose their sensor capabilities over time.
In December 2019, the UL standard for smoke alarms was updated, saying that manufacturers needed to make their smoke detectors distinguish between cooking smoke and smoldering fires. The upgrade's deadline was May 2020; therefore, recently manufactured detectors should differentiate between the two.
The UL update also required that all detectors released after May 2020 need to consist of smoke and CO detection and not just traditional single sensor types. Looking for this can help ensure a particular model is "freshly made" since it contains both features. The product description should include these details.
When it comes to fire detection, a product with multiple sensors is best. There are two main types of sensors: ionization and photoelectric. Alarms made before the UL standard may have a single photoelectric or ionization smoke sensor that can't distinguish between a dangerous fire and a more controllable mishap in the kitchen.
The first is for detecting small flaming fire particles, usually those that flare, explode, and are fast to occur. Photoelectric sensors, on the other hand, respond faster to smoldering, smoky fires. Dual-sensor smoke detectors ensure that both types of fires are promptly detected. Smoke detectors that meet updated UL standards contain multiple sensors.
You'll get a different type of alert when the alarm picks up smoke from a fire versus cooking smoke. When it's just cooking smoke from a recipe attempt gone wrong, others in the home will know not to panic.
When talking about an alarm's features, think about your preferences. For example, do you prefer voice alerts or a beeping sound? Think about what type of indicator lights and features will be easiest for you to interpret.
For homes with compatible wiring, you might also consider interconnected alarm systems. Keep in mind that a "smart" alarm will require more setting up, but can create a seamless security system.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. When CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, those in the room could experience fatigue, headaches, and nausea. Sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm can lead to disorientation, unconsciousness, and even death.
A CO detector's main task is to gauge the current carbon monoxide levels in a room and inform those living on the premises. A CO detector with LED indicators or LCD displays will quickly tell you the CO concentration measured in parts per million (ppm).
A detector with a wide range of CO detection is highly recommended. For example, some models can detect CO concentration within a 30 to 999 ppm range and have various indicator lights to inform homeowners. You can also get detectors that broadcast CO levels through audio announcements if the blinking lights go unnoticed.
We recommend a siren that's over 80 decibels to ensure everyone is notified of the potential risk or CO or fire. Other voice or sound alerts that indicate low battery or another status are often not as loud.
Sound indicators can include conventional alarm sounds and voice alerts. For children, voice alerts might be more effective at waking them. Hearing-impaired homeowners can consider indicators that consist of bright, flashing lights in lieu of voice or sound alerts.
If you have a bigger home with multiple levels, an interconnected detector system ensures maximum safety. The notification will come from all detectors and not just the one picking up the smoke or high CO concentration, notifying you promptly wherever you are.
One thing to note with interconnected alarms is that they are usually only compatible with detectors of the same brand or model. So if you have existing detectors installed, this might limit your options.
You can also choose a set of two or three detectors, which quite a few manufacturers offer. Some even include as many as 12 alarms in one purchase, making it easy to outfit your entire home.
In case your house is left unattended for extended periods, you can also look at the detectors' capability to connect to your security system. Some can call you or automatically notify the police or fire department when dangerous smoke or CO levels are picked up.
Smart detectors often connect to WiFi and can send you smartphone alerts for further safety precautions. You can monitor for problems in your home while you're away. Some smart detectors give you additional options to hush or silence alarms from an app. After you've confirmed there isn't an actual fire, you can easily silence those loud sounds straight from your phone.
The added conveniences often come with a cost. Smart detectors tend to be more expensive than standard alarms. However, the remote monitoring and control features may be worth it to you. Resale home values also sometimes increase when a residence has smart devices.
Here is a quick rundown on the typical areas smoke and CO alarms are installed to ensure optimal safety: on each floor of the house, in each bedroom, in the living room, at least 10 feet away from a stove or furnace, in hallways close to sleeping areas, at the top of stairways, and the bottom of a stairway leading to a basement.
The device should be mounted on the ceiling with a minimum six-inch gap from the wall or on the wall with a minimum six-inch distance from the ceiling.
We recommend reading the installation manual thoroughly if a particular model has requirements regarding the distance from stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances.
You can never be too sure when it comes to safety! Here are a few more devices that offer heightened security for everyone in the family.
For more inspiration, check out Amazon's best sellers list for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It will give you some additional ideas on what options you can select from.
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