Last updated on November 23rd, 2020 at 04:15 pm
There’s nothing sexy about smoke detectors—we put them in our homes and often forget about them until we cook smoky food without remembering to turn the exhaust fan on or start enjoying our fireplaces with the chimney closed. (That said, you should check your smoke detectors at least once a month to make sure that the batteries are fresh and that the detector can detect if you find yourself in a situation where mere seconds make all the difference.)
Smoke—and these days, carbon monoxide detectors—often play merely a background role in the life of a modern home, just something we expect to be there rather than tools to be kept up to date, ensuring we’re doing everything we can to take care of our homes.
But what if your home got ravaged by a fire tomorrow? Have you taken the necessary steps to protect the things you hold dear if the unexpected happens? Are your valuables in a fireproof safe and your files stored in another location should your computer get torched in the process? Do you have your possessions catalogued in an inventory and made sure you know what your home insurance covers? When it comes down to it, too many of us are woefully unprepared for the curveballs life’s all too ready to hurl at us, and we need to be smarter about the tools we keep around us if things go wrong.
And that oft-overlooked ancient smoke detector collecting dust on your ceiling’s an amazing way to start.
“In the 1970s, it would take almost 30 minutes for a fire to take over a room. Today, it can take less than 5.”
— Source: Underwriters Laboratories
It’s scary how quickly things can go wrong. In a quest to make things cheaper to manufacture and accessible to everyone through mass production, we’ve turned our homes into fire traps. The fires burn faster, the smoke’s more toxic, and the longer we continue relying on outdated technology to keep us safe, the more we leave ourselves open to calamity happening without a way to defend ourselves in time.
The second-generation Nest Protect is packed with features to give you a leg up against disaster, and if used in the right way, it can do far more than just detect smoke.
The industrial-grade smoke detector is just part of everything the Nest Protect has to offer—if you’re one of the 90% who fail to check their smoke detectors monthly, imagine a smoke detector with a built-in microphone to quietly test its horn monthly at a time of your choosing, and you need to do little more than key your preferences in on the Nest App to make it happen. Or putting the days of an overly sensitive smoke detector far behind you, with one you can hush with a press on your phone instead of frantically waving at it with a dish towel until it gets the picture. In an age where our phones may as well be extra limbs, having devices like the Nest Protect connected to them doesn’t just make sense—soon enough, it’ll likely become the norm.
A recent study commissioned by TELUS found that smart home technologies are on the rise—while 61% of people believe that they’ll definitely benefit their lives, only 34% currently own a smart home device. But that gap’s looking to shrink—with 63% of people predicting they’ll own at least one smart home device by 2018 (with half that crowd thinking they’ll own three or more), the world around us will continue to morph to accommodate the possibilities that simply didn’t exist before smart home technologies began making their way into the mainstream.
Think of a smoke detector capable of telling you when things are awry at home, with every family member able to get alerts through their Nest Account no matter where they are? Or one that knows how to react based on how bright the fire is to know if it’s fast- or slow-burning? One that checks its batteries and sensors 400+ times a day; whose carbon monoxide sensor lasts a decade; can tell the difference between smoke and steam (for y’all who love your long showers); and will broadcast immediate evacuation steps to your phone in the case of an emergency so you can get your family out safely—and quickly.
It’s time for us to stop fixating on the smoke detectors we used to know and start looking to a future that’s a lot smarter.
So if you’re up to the challenge of making your home a tad more intelligent (and I’m pretty sure you are with 57% of people believing smart home tech will save them money, and 44% believing it to increase security and safety), this is a great way to do it!
The Nest Protect — A Great Way to Keep the Things You Care About Most Safe From Harm’s Way
With technology continuing to evolve, so do our expectations for what’s possible from our devices. Don’t be surprised to eventually see insurance companies giving reduced premiums for households linking security cameras to their smoke detectors that can automatically record video in the case of an emergency. Or if you suddenly find smart home devices integrated into your kids’ school curriculum, like advising them to get a thermostat that speaks to their smoke detectors, shutting off the heating system in the case of a fire so the smoke doesn’t spread further!
In a world where the challenges change faster than we can keep up, it’s the little tools like the Nest Protect that at least point us in the right direction.
If you want to see the Nest Protect for yourself up close and personal, feel free to check it out at one of TELUS‘ “Connected Experience” stores in the Cadillac Fairview Toronto Eaton Centre or Edmonton’s Southgate Centre. And if you don’t happen to live near, don’t worry—TELUS has more Connected Experience stores in the works, and they’ll be introducing their smart home portfolio to 50 retail locations across Canada this year!
All that said, I hope I’ve inspired you to think about the steps you can take to build a smarter home. With enough in our lives that’s utterly irreplaceable, it’s worth the investment to make sure we protect the things we care about—before we regret not having done so sooner.
Hope to see you on the right side of the smart home revolution!
Until the next, I remain,
Disclaimer: As compensation for this post, TELUS sent over a battery-powered Nest Protect to review and see how it could make our home a little smarter! But since we need a wired version to replace our current system, I decided to pass the device on to you—but believe you me, when we move to our forever home, I’m installing these suckers all over the place!