Skip to main content

Nest Recalls Smoke + CO Alarms

Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarm

Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarm

Here's some alarming news: Palo Alto, California-based home tech company Nest Labs is recalling 440,000 of its combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms because a feature designed for convenience could actually prevent the alarm from going off at all.

The Nest Protect Smoke + CO alarms have a motion-detection feature called Nest Wave, wherein waving your arm near the device causes it to temporarily silence its alarm. The problem was, Nest Labs found that Nest Wave wasn't able to tell an intentional arm wave apart from other kinds of movement, so the alarms were silencing themselves without the user realizing they were doing so.

MORE: Meet the Jetsons: 9 Sci-Fi Automated Homes

All Nest Labs alarms are affected, the company said, though there have been no reports of the issue occurring in customers' homes. 

Nest Labs first disclosed the issue last month in a post on its website, announcing it would "halt" sales of its smoke and carbon monoxide alarms until it had developed a solution for the problem. Later, Nest released an update to disable Nest Wave, but only devices connected to the Internet and activated with a Nest account can get it. The company also offered a full refund via its website.

But the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that Nest Labs is recalling its Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarms. Though the Commission is calling it a recall, its website does say that consumers have the option to fix the issue via the update instead of seeking a refund.

Email jscharr@techmedianetwork.com or follow her @JillScharr and Google+.  Follow us@TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • lp231
    Completely remove the wave function and if it's a false alarm, the user have to physically press the button on the device. The NEST logo can act as a button.
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    Yea, who knew that people would wave there arms around widely running from a fire!

    Reply
  • chugot9218
    Well, I think it is recommended to have a smoke alarm at the highest point in a room, so if you have ever lived in a home with vaulted ceilings and no ladder taller than 5 ft, it's not so easy as simply pushing a button. In fact, try with a dying alarm where you need to replace the battery at that height. Let's just say our solution employed a broom handle, duct tape, and a knife taped to the end lol. Not that magically waving your hands would resolve that situation either, but the point is smoke alarms are not always in easily accessible places.
    Reply
  • razor512
    Overpriced device especially compared to far more sensitive (programmable limits of the industrial multiwarners which allow you to insert sensor cartridges to detect a range of gases. The nest smoke detector is insanely overpriced.

    That flaw that caused the recall was a common joke made about the product when it was first announced. The company completely ignored the concerns and comments about that exact issue of how does it differentiate between someone waving their arm stop the alarm, and someone being burned alive by some fire.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    Well, I think it is recommended to have a smoke alarm at the highest point in a room, so if you have ever lived in a home with vaulted ceilings and no ladder taller than 5 ft, it's not so easy as simply pushing a button. In fact, try with a dying alarm where you need to replace the battery at that height. Let's just say our solution employed a broom handle, duct tape, and a knife taped to the end lol. Not that magically waving your hands would resolve that situation either, but the point is smoke alarms are not always in easily accessible places.

    Use a hardwired alarm then you rarely have to replace the battery. Also use the First Alert Onelink. Then you just have to silence one alarm to silence them all. They are also much safer since if one goes off they all do. That way even if there is a barely audible alarm in your Kitchen the one above your bed wakes you up and tells you which room the fire or CO is in.

    I have them all over the house. Every bedroom, hallway, kitchen, garage and crawlspace. The only downside to the Onelink is for some reason they don't make a dual Ionization and Photoelectric detector for greater sensitivity.
    Reply
  • sirwnstn
    http://www.firstalert.com/index.php?option=com_flexicontent&view=item&id=243

    Dual sensor, but battery only.
    Reply
  • mavroxur
    Yea, who knew that people would wave there arms around widely running from a fire!

    Chances are, if you're running from a fire, and the alarm silences itself, you're probably going to keep running.
    Reply
  • lp231
    Another one of those hipster products along with their $5 cup of coffee and $4 piece of burnt toast.
    Reply
  • Bondfc11
    I want that noobjob of designing the next Nest Detector.
    Reply