Nest Is Recalling Over 400,000 Protect Smoke Alarms

Nest Is Recalling Over 400k Protect Smoke Alarms

A little more than a month after Nest announced it would halt the sale of its Protect smoke and CO alarm, the company has announced the official recall of every alarm sold so far. A report filed on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website announced the recall.

The safety issue is the same one that triggered Nest to stop selling new Protects in April: Nest Wave, an algorithm that allows users to "wave to hush" some alarms and tests. It was one of the coolest design details of Protect, sadly — the fact that, rather than getting up on a chair and hitting your smoke alarm with a broom to turn off a false alarm, you could simply wave at it and its embedded motion sensor would silence the noise.

But that awesome feature is also potentially dangerous. Let's say there's a real fire in your kitchen: As you're rushing to leave, Protect could theoretically interpret your movement as a "hush" and silence the alarm. In other words, functionality designed to stop false alarms could actually shut off a real, life-saving alarm.

So far, Nest hasn't received any reports of this scenario actually occurring — no one has been hurt, and no damage has been inflicted on homes because of the mistake. Still, the company is playing it safe, recalling all of the Protects sold so far. If you would prefer to keep your system though, there's an easy fix: Nest has already pushed out a software update that disables the Wave algorithm for existing users (here's how to make sure it works).

It seems that Protect's cleverest functionality is also its achilles' heel. Learn more about how to return or update your Protect here.

WATCH MORE: Tech News


Comments

    So they thought of this..... after they sold 400,000 units.....

    Should have just made it a button or something.

    "As you're rushing to leave" - "Oh wait, the alarm's stopped. The leaping flames and clouds of choking smoke are probably nothing then. Back to bed for me."

      As you're rushing to leave, someone else in another room who you've forgotten about in your panic is still sleeping, and will remain that way now that the alarm is silent...

      As you're rushing to leave, you pass out due to the smoke, and your neighbours remain asleep instead of calling the fire department...

      I guess it is really a problem, isn't it?

      Last edited 22/05/14 2:24 pm

    didn't Google buy this lot for a Billion or 2 the other month??

    Why didn't they make this into a firmware feature that they could just disable with a firmware update?

    Surely there is some kind of timer involved? This product can't have been that badly thought out that detecting a "wave" puts it to sleep indefinitely.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now