7 Best Smoke Detector Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), three out of five residential fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, and more than a third of residential fire deaths result from fires in homes where no smoke alarms are present at all. This means that if your home has a working smoke detector, your risk of death in a residential fire gets cut in half.

Although smoke detectors often seem like nuisances that randomly go off when there’s no fire and chirp all through the night when the batteries are low, they are an essential part of your home security that needs to be maintained, updated, and replaced periodically.

Top 7 Smoke Detector

SaleBestseller No. 1
Kidde Battery Operated Smoke Alarm  I9050
575 Reviews
Kidde Battery Operated Smoke Alarm I9050
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Country of manufacture: United States
SaleBestseller No. 2
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Battery Operated, SCO5CN
1976 Reviews
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Battery Operated, SCO5CN
  • Keep your family safe with this battery operated smoke and carbon monoxide alarm; battery...
  • Features an electrochemical Carbon Monoxide sensing technology as well as a photoelectric...
SaleBestseller No. 3
First Alert Smoke Detector Alarm | Hardwired with Backup Battery, BRK9120b6CP
3494 Reviews
First Alert Smoke Detector Alarm | Hardwired with Backup Battery, BRK9120b6CP
  • Keep your family safe with this hardwired smoke alarm the battery backup means constant...
  • Equipped with an ionization sensor, this smoke alarm reliably detects smoke from...
Bestseller No. 4
Kidde 21026043 Battery-Operated(Not Hardwired) Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning KN-COSM-BA
2159 Reviews
Kidde 21026043 Battery-Operated(Not Hardwired) Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning KN-COSM-BA
  • Voice Alarm -Announces the hazard type detected thereby helping to speed up the correct...
  • Combined Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm - A single unit can be installed where...
Bestseller No. 5
Wireless Smoke Detector, Ardwolf 2 Pack Photoelectric Fire Alarm with UL Listed GS528A Battery-Powered (9V Battery Included),10 Years Life Time, Save Lives When Fire Happen at Home, Hotel, School
220 Reviews
Wireless Smoke Detector, Ardwolf 2 Pack Photoelectric Fire Alarm with UL Listed GS528A Battery-Powered (9V Battery Included),10 Years Life Time, Save Lives When Fire Happen at Home, Hotel, School
  • Photoelectric Technology: Ardwolf smoke alarms with photoelectric technology which is...
  • Battery-Powered: This Fire detector is powered by one 9V battery(included), it will not be...
Bestseller No. 6
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Hardwired with Battery Backup, BRK SC9120B
2339 Reviews
First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm | Hardwired with Battery Backup, BRK SC9120B
  • Keep your family safe with this hardwired smoke and carbon monoxide alarm; the battery...
  • Features an electrochemical Carbon Monoxide sensing technology as well as an ionization...
Bestseller No. 7
Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm 4 Pack Photoelectric Sensor Smoke Alarms Easy to Install Fire Alarm With UL Listed, Light Sound Warning, Test Button,9V Battery Included Fire Safety for Home Hotel School
25 Reviews
Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm 4 Pack Photoelectric Sensor Smoke Alarms Easy to Install Fire Alarm With UL Listed, Light Sound Warning, Test Button,9V Battery Included Fire Safety for Home Hotel School
  • 🔥【Photoelectric Technology&Material 】: Fire-Retardant ABS V0 Level.UL Listed...
  • 🔥【Easy Installation】: Can be installed in several minutes. Coming with screws...

Types of smoke detectors

There are three types of smoke detectors on the market: ionization, photoelectric, and dual-sensor alarms, which use both ionization and photoelectric technology.

Ionization smoke alarms

Ionization smoke alarms are best at detecting the small particles typical of the smoke from fast, flaming fires—as opposed to smoldering fires, which produce smoke with larger particles. Ionization smoke alarms hold a small amount of radioactive material (Americium-241) between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and creates a current between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the current and activates the alarm.

Ionization smoke alarms can be triggered by the smoke produced by burnt food or by steam from the shower, so you may get more false alarms if the alarm is placed in the kitchen or near a bathroom.

Photoelectric smoke alarms

In a photoelectric smoke alarm, a light source is aimed into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, the light is diffracted and reflected onto the light sensor, which triggers the alarm. These types of smoke detectors are best at sensing smoldering fires that create a lot of smoke without many (or any) visible flames. While not as prone to false alarms as ionization smoke detectors, photoelectric alarms may be randomly set off by a buildup of dust in the unit.

Dual sensor smoke alarms

Dual sensor smoke alarms combine ionization and photoelectric sensors into one unit. Some models require both sensors to be triggered before the alarm will go off, but this may delay the alert from sounding. Other models only require one of the sensors to be tripped, but that also creates the potential for more false alarms.

Things to consider before buying

In addition to the type of smoke detector, there are several other safety features that should be taken into consideration.

Power source

Alarms can either be battery-powered or hardwired into your home’s electrical system with backup batteries in case the power goes out. Hardwired alarms are the recommended option (and are sometimes required by state law). Though they generally require professional installation, the safety advantage is that they can be interconnected with the other smoke alarms in your home.

Battery-only alarms are easy to install and they’ll continue to work during a power outage, but the batteries will need to be replaced once or twice a year. Some models use lithium batteries, which may last for up to the life of the alarm. Some alarms can be plugged into an outlet, but the ideal placement of an alarm is on or near the ceiling.

Interconnectability

As mentioned above, you can link some smoke alarms, as well as carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, to all the units in the house so all of them will go off if one is triggered. This is an important feature for homes with multiple levels where you may not be able to hear an alarm in a far corner of the house. Many newer homes have this wiring already in place, or you can purchase alarms that will connect wirelessly.

Silence button

Being able to silence an alarm with a button is much better than disabling the unit—since then you decrease your chances of forgetting to put the batteries back in the unit. The silence button is a temporary measure and the alarm will sound again if whatever triggered it persists.

Some smoke alarms have one silencing button while others have two—one for a false alarm and one for a low-battery warning. The low-battery warning can be silenced for longer stretches of time than the regular alarm, but it varies from model to model.

Light alarms

A flashing light as part of a smoke alarm’s warning system is an important feature for anyone who is hearing-impaired. Some alarms also come with a safety light that provides illumination in the dark.

 

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