Best Wireless Smoke Alarms – Top 5 Picks for 2018

This is our official list in search of the best wireless smoke alarms on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a beginners guide to learn more about these useful home gadgets.

Quick Look:

  1. Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke Alarm
  2. Honeywell 5808W3 Wireless Photoelectric
  3. First Alert SA511CN2-3ST
  4. Onelink SCO501B2 – Wireless Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  5. Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 Wireless Smoke Detector

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Wireless Smoke Alarms to Consider

Every home should be equipped with smoke alarms because they have the potential to save lives. The best wireless smoke alarms use wireless technology to receive and transmit messages, and they can be much more convenient to use than wired alternatives. Below you’ll find our carefully selected top five quality cord free smoke alarms for your consideration.

1.) Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke Alarm

 

Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Smoke AlarmThe Kidde RF-SM-DC is a popular choice for sheds and workshops, but it’s a suitable for of protection for a variety of structures. It meets UL requirements, and with the press of a button, nuisance alarms can be silenced quickly.

Since this smoke alarm is powered by a battery, it allows for installation of interconnected alarms and eliminates the need for rewiring. The Kidde RF-SM-DC is equipped with wireless technology, and it uses radio frequency energy to send and receive messages.

It’s powered by three AA batteries, which come with the product. Many homeowners want to install an interconnected smoke alarm system, but they can’t afford to pay for expensive electrical rewiring.

Since it uses wireless technology, this product eliminates the need for costly rewiring, and once it has been wirelessly linked with other alarms, one unit can set off every other unit in the structure.

PROS

  • Simple to set up
  • Easy to install
  • One touch to silence nuisance alarms
  • Perfect for a multi-level structure

CONS

  • Can be very sensitive

($) Check price on Amazon

2.) Honeywell 5808W3 Wireless Photoelectric

Honeywell 5808W3 Wireless Photoelectric

The Honeywell 5808W3 smoke alarm is equipped with photoelectric technology, which makes it a great choice for detecting smoky, smoldering fires. This technology also makes it less effective at detecting fast fires, but it can still deliver enough protection for commercial and residential structures.

The Honeywell 5808W3 can detect smoke, heat and fire, and since it features wireless technology, it can be interconnected with other units. It’s a popular choice for homeowners who’d like to avoid cutting into drywall and dealing with electrical wires.

Programming the unit is the hardest part, but once it has been programmed, the rest of the installation process is easy. The Honeywell 5808W3 smoke alarm is much more affordable than purchasing a smoke detector from an alarm company, and it can save lives.

PROS

  • Easy to connect to other Honeywell units
  • Very responsive
  • Sensor is reliable
  • Looks good

CONS

  • Programming can be difficult

($) Check price on Amazon

3.) First Alert SA511CN2-3ST

First Alert SA511CN2-3ST

The First Alert SA511CN2-3ST smoke alarm comes equipped with a feature for voice location, and since it’s battery operated, it doesn’t require rewiring the electrical system.

With wireless technology, this smoke detector can be wireless connected with other units, and it uses photoelectric technology to detect the large particles produced by fires. It’s designed with a convenient pullout battery drawer, and it will tell you when the battery is low.

The First Alert SA511CN2-3ST has been tested against the highest safety standards for the industry, and it meets strict UL safety standards. This package comes with two individual alarms, and when one unit is activated, it sets off the other unit.

The wireless technology allows for several interconnected units, and since one unit can set off all the other units, the interconnected system saves precious time and increases the odds of survival.

PROS

  • Very loud
  • Alerts to the source of the fire
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Programming is simple

CONS

  • Only comes with a few preset location recordings

($) Check price on Amazon

4.) Onelink SCO501B2 – Wireless Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Onelink SCO501B2 - Wireless Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The Onelink SCO501B2 is engineered with wireless technology, and it can be interconnected with several other alarm units. With a photoelectric sensor, it can detect carbon monoxide and smoke particles, and for additional protection, it comes with a battery backup.

The Onelink SCO501B2 can be connected with hardwired units, but for this to work, it requires an SA521CN bridge unit. Like many other smoke alarms, the activation of this unit will set off all other interconnected units in a home.

With the press of a button, this smoke detector can be wirelessly connected with several other units, and to prevent nuisance alarms, it’s designed with photoelectric sensor technology. The Onelink SCO501B2 meets UL standards, and the battery drawer is easy to open.

PROS

  • Provides peace of mind
  • Can be interconnected easily
  • Sensor works for smoke and carbon monoxide
  • Very loud

CONS

  • Could be more affordable

($) Check price on Amazon

5.) Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 Wireless Smoke Detector

Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 Wireless Smoke Detector

The Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 operates with a 3V battery and has a built-in wireless transmitter. To detect the large particles produced by smoke, it’s equipped with photoelectric sensor technology. It also has technology for fire verification, which prevents false alarms.

The built-in wireless transmitter allows this device to communicate with other Honeywell smoke detectors, and the interconnected system provides much better protection than a single unit.

The Honeywell Ademco 5806W3 can be used in commercial and residential structures, and it can send maintenance, battery condition, tamper and alarm messages to the main receiver.

A state-of-the-art sensor chamber is combined with a microprocessor, and the end result is a smoke alarm that is reliable, smart and safe.

PROS

  • Built in wireless transmitter
  • Photoelectric sensor technology
  • State-of-the-art sensor chamber
  • Prevents false alarms

CONS

  • Design could be better

($) Check price on Amazon

Brief Guide to Buying Wireless Smoke Alarms

In homes equipped with a furnace, carbon monoxide is a serious threat because it’s tasteless, odorless and invisible, which makes it almost impossible to detect. Many modern smoke alarms can detect and protect against this dangerous gas, and they’re also good at detecting smoke.

When shopping for these products, there are several features to consider. Some smoke alarms are equipped with ionization technology, and they’re perfect for detecting the small particles created by fast, flaming fires. However, they’re not the best choice for smoldering, smoky fires.

The problem with ionization alarms is that they’re frequently set off by steam or burning food. The second option is the photoelectric smoke alarm, and it’s good at detecting the large particles produced by smoldering, smoky fires.

Although photoelectric smoke detectors are less likely to be activated by a false alarm, they’re not the best choice for fast fires. The third option is the dual-sensor smoke detector, and as the name would imply, this product uses a combination of photoelectric and ionization technologies.

What Are They?

Smoke alarms detect smoke, so that if you’re asleep or in another room and a fire starts, you will be alerted by the loud beeping. A wired smoke detector is connected to your home’s electricity. This means that if the fire causes an electrical short, then your smoke alarms won’t work. Wireless smoke alarms, on the other hand, run off batteries, so they aren’t reliant on your home’s infrastructure.

They are usually very easy to install with just a few screws, and you can find the best location for them. Often you can find wireless smoke alarms that will interconnect, so that if one goes off they all will. They do this by using radio frequency to transmit messages. Some interconnected alarms can also connect with hard wired units.

Often wireless smoke alarms are made to be very easy to use, with a simple button you can press to test them, and also to turn them off. This means that you are unlikely to end up taking the batteries out because of a noisy alarm, since it is easily silenced. Some alarms also have LED indicators in place – green signifies normal, and red abnormal.

Smoke alarms use two types of technology to sense when there is smoke. Photoelectrical or optical smoke detectors have something that is like an electronic eye. There is a chamber inside them which houses a LED light, and also a light detector.

The LED send out infrared rays which normally don’t reach the light detector because it is facing a different way. However when smoke enters the chamber through the slits in the smoke alarm, it scatters the LED light. This means it then reaches the light detector, which sets the alarm off.

The other type of technology is called ionization. This time there is a chamber inside the smoke alarm filled with ions which are positively charged, and electrons which are negatively charged. Normally they just go on their merry way around the chamber, with a current flowing between them.

However if there is a fire, and smoke gets into the chamber, then the smoke particles attach themselves to the ions. This shuts down the electric current since there is no longer any negative charge. The circuit detects the change and sounds the alarm.

Who Can Benefit?

Everyone should have smoke alarms installed in their house to prevent risk of death if a fire happens. The US National Fire Protection Association said that in the years 2003 to 2006, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths were in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

It’s crucial to have working smoke alarms in order to prevent death from a fire. Wireless smoke alarms will keep on working even when there is an electrical short due to a fire. They are also very easy to install since there is no wiring required, so are a great choice.

Wireless alarms are a good choice for sheds or detached workshops. Also if you are going to rent your house out or get approved for adoption or child care, you may well need to install some smoke alarms.

If you live in an older home that does not have interconnected smoke alarms then it would be wise to install some so that you can protect your family and home.

What To Look For?

If you can find smoke alarms that interconnect they give the advantage of alerting you wherever you are. In fact many states now require them to be installed in new homes, and experts recommend them. With interconnected alarms it means that if one sounds they all sound.

Ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms are both good in different ways. According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, ionization alarms give a better response, but photoelectric alarms give a faster response. So either of these should alert you, and give you some time to escape from the fire.

Ionization alarms also respond better to flaming fires, whereas photoelectric alarms respond best to smoldering fires. If you want to be most protected it is recommended that you install both types. You can also look for combination devices that have both technologies inside one alarm.

Some smoke alarms have extra features, such as a voice telling you where the location of the fire is. Some alert you when the battery is low, which means you are less likely to have a non-working smoke alarm.

Another feature which can add to your safety is a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ since it is odorless and you can’t see it.

If you are hard of hearing or deaf, look for a special alarm. These usually consist of strobe lights, and there are some that will vibrate and shake your bed when they go off.

You can also find smart smoke alarms which will alert you of a fire even when you’re not on the premises. You can be notified via your phone anywhere you are, so long as you have an internet connection.

What To Avoid?

Some wireless alarms may cause interference with wireless home security systems so you may need to check compatibility before buying.

FAQ

How often should I change my smoke alarm batteries?

It is best to change your batteries twice a year regardless of how strong they are – so that you make sure they are in working order. You can remember to do it by changing the batteries every time the clocks change.

Where should I install smoke alarms?

It is recommended that you install them in every bedroom, and also outside every sleeping area. They should also be installed on every level of your home.

How often should I test them?

You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button.

How do I install them?

In most cases you should just have to drill holes in the ceiling, then hammer the anchors in and secure the plate. Then add batteries to the alarm and attach it to the plate.

Wrapping Up

The best wireless smoke alarms can save lives, and since they can be interconnected, a single unit can set off every other unit within the network. Standalone smoke detectors don’t provide this level of protection, and with no wireless technology, they can’t communicate with each other.

Some of the best products can detect smoke, excessive heat and carbon monoxide, which is enough protection to prevent many unnecessary tragedies and save lives.

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Written by Chris Crisostomo

Chris is a straight up lifelong self-described tech nerd. He's one of e-Ranker's technology and electronics experts.