I don’t remember if I’ve related my own experiences with the Nest Protect products previously, but I think it speaks to your issues, Paul. I used to be infuriated periodically by the non-directional “chirping” of one of my several smoke detectors once it’s recognized that its battery was depleted—now, just WHICH bedroom is that noxious sound coming from? (And it always seemed to start in the middle of the night). I was already a fan of the original Nest Thermostat ecosystem (including a uniquely marvelous telephone support infrastructure). I purchased just one because they were quite expensive, and when I did so, only the battery powered version was available. I was so impressed with how they worked and how much information the natural language voice provided that as soon as the a/c wiring version became available I replaced every smoke detector in my home. Within a few months, while I was at work, my phone rang with an urgent call from my wife, proclaiming “the alarm went off,” while in the background I heard one of my Nest Protects announcing "there is smoke, in the kitchen. The alarm will sound; the alarm will be aloud, soon to be joined in a chorus by the other Nest Protects, each of THEM accurately directing the listener to the source of the smoke (not just squealing). At the same time, an SMS arrived, and within a few seconds, an email from Nest, also informing me of the problem.
My spouse took the bacon pan off the stove, through baking soda on the flames, and soon the Nest Protects congratulated her by announcing “the smoke is clearing.” The alarm will stop."
However, that AI wasn’t universally positive. A year or two later, I was at home when I heard the irritating “First Alert” chirping noise. I didn’t think i HAD any remaining First Alert devices, but that was untrue; I DID still have a CO detector near the floor in my entry way, but that chirping noise reflects of nearby surfaces so that it’s difficult to parse its source. I thought it odd that with all this AI, the only thing the Nest Protect could do was chirp when its battery was depleted, but I mounted a stepladder, removed the Nest Protect from the ceiling, and couldn’t find any way to silence it. Turns out this WAS the battery powered version. While mounted on the ladder, I spied the culpable First Alert detector and stopped the noise, but NOT before I’d plucked the six LiIon batteries, one by one from inside the Nest Detect. Battery 5 of 6 was warm; Battery #6 was SO hot that I dropped it instantly. That prompted a call to Nest Support, in which I complained that my Nest Smoke Detector could possibly have burned down my house if my old-school CO monitor hadn’t announced that IT was retiring by chirping. The Nest folks were very interested in having me send them the detector (they STRONGLY urged me not to include the batteries), and promised to send me a replacement. However, they refused to send me an a/c integrated unit, because their warranty policy was “replace like with like.” We finally compromised on them sending me a check for the retail value of the device which I could then use to purchase the a/c wiring integrated version.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I wasn’t around to see how well the networked Smoke Detectors worked when the Tubbs Fire burned down my house in the early morning hours of October 9, 2017, but by the time the fire reached my home I’m pretty sure the power had gone out and internet service to my phone was unavailable because the cell towers were incinerated as well. However, the integration of the devices with the Nest ecosystem was impressive; e.g., if they detect fire, they’ll use the Nest thermostat, if present, to shut down a gas furnace or a WiFi enabled gas hot water heater as well as sending those plain language specific location messages to the homeowner.
However, I can’t conclude without voicing my total disappointment about Nest having been captured by “Let’s be Evil” Google, who has now stopped selling the sensors and CPU of the equally innovative Nest home security system