PALO ALTO, Calif. — Nest Labs Inc. has announced a new smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm called the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™. According to the company, the product does more than just sound a shrill alarm. It speaks, telling you where the danger is and what the problem is. Before it sounds a piercing alarm, it provides a Heads-Up warning that can be silenced with the wave of a hand — no more swinging towels or brooms to quiet a false alarm. It also provides mobile notifications.

“With our first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, we set out to help people reduce home energy use,” said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and chief executive officer. “Now, we’re turning our attention to something that’s also important: keeping families safe in their homes. We’ve all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we’re cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night. Every time a smoke alarm cries wolf, we trust it a little less, and then — in a moment of frustration — we rip the batteries out to stop the beeping. And that leaves us and our families at risk.”

According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of smoke alarms that failed to activate during home fires, 73 percent of them had dead, missing, or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

“Safety shouldn’t be annoying,” said Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering. “It was unacceptable to us that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. These products are required by law and are supposed to keep us safe, yet people hate them. We wanted to change that, so we created Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide.”

Nest Protect is a multi-criteria detector with heat, CO, and smoke sensors that work together to detect danger. If the unit sees that smoke or CO levels are rising but have not yet reached emergency alarm levels, it provides a Heads-Up early warning.

With the mobile notifications feature, the user can receive low-battery alerts, Heads-Up, and emergency alarm notifications on a smartphone or tablet. In an emergency, the What to Do feature will supply recommended actions and give one-button access to an emergency phone number.

For those that have both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, a free Nest user account allows the products to work together. If Nest Protect’s carbon monoxide alarm goes off, the Nest thermostat automatically turns off the user’s gas furnace, a possible source of carbon monoxide leaks.

The Nest app on iOS, Android, and the web can be used to set up, control, and get alerts for both Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Nest Protect is expected to be available in November in two versions — wired (120 V) and battery-powered — and in two colors — white and black.

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Publication date: 10/14/2013

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