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Keep it simple, that's the message we got from Nest Protect. And they certainly do that, offering only one device (in either black or white, wired or wireless). However, they've combined fire and carbon monoxide devices, taking them to another level by innovating the design and making them much simpler to use.
There are some notable differences between Nest Protect's smoke and carbon monoxide monitors, and those we've seen elsewhere. Firstly – and this might seem minor, but bear with us – you get to choose the colour. You can only pick between black and white, but this is a massive improvement on most sites, which only offer one colour. At last, the devices might be able to better suit your décor! Now on to the important stuff, and that's to do with safety. Some of the adaptations Nest have made will make using your carbon monoxide alarm a lot easier, whilst others could really be life savers...
First let's look at the way you interact with this device. We've all been there: the toast has burned, or some sauce has stuck to the pan, and then BEEP BEEP BEEP. Annoying, right? Better fetch the teatowels and start waving them at the ceiling like a maniac, in the hope the damnable fire alarm will shut up. Not so with Nest Protect.
At the first signs of air changes this detector will simply give a visual warning by emitting a coloured light in a ring. This ring will let you know the kind of issue and the severity of it. Burning toast, therefore, is low risk, and you can carry on without interruption. But let's assume that morsel of bread bursts into flames, well this is a real risk and the change in smoke density will trigger the alarm. Okay, you've managed to throw the toast into a bucket of water and everything is okay again, but the alarm is still blurting out. What now? Simple, you just stand beneath it and wave to it, as if saying goodbye to a friend. So long as you're between 2 and 8 feet of the alarm, it will go silent.
Things don't end there. Picture a situation where a real danger (fire or carbon monoxide) exists. It's the middle of the night, it's dark, you're frightened and worrying about the kids, your partner, the pets and so on. The Nest alarm projects a light into the room and also speaks to you. It tells you where the danger is coming from so that you can avoid it or check out the situation. What's more, if you have multiple devices in the house they will communicate this message to each other so the safety warnings are announced throughout the home. Clever.
So you can probably tell that we're impressed with the CO-fire monitor. However, beyond being able to select the colour of your device and track its progress, there's little to the Nest website. Look around and you'll find a press room and blog, plus a couple of installation videos. You can also contact the team, but there's nothing in the way of online manuals, links to safety sites or further information on protecting your home. Somehow it doesn't feel like a massive omission though, simply because the site – similar to its products – is stripped down to bare essentials for ease of use.
If you want a great CO-fire alarm and don't mind shelling out quite a bit for it, Nest is definitely a site to consider. However, if you're looking for more options and services, you'll probably want to check out some of the other CO monitoring websites around.
Click on the button below to check out Nest.com for yourself...