Here’s a quick review of our picks for the best residential smoke detectors of 2020.
Best for most: The First Alert BRK 3120B is a simple but high-quality smoke detector. With dual sensors and OptiPath technology, it can quickly detect both smoldering and big-flaming fires. It’s a great choice for most homes, and it’s cheaper than many lower-quality devices.
Best smart device: The Google Nest protect S3003LWES is a technology-packed smart alarm that can sense smoke, heat, humidity, and carbon monoxide and communicate with your phone, so that you always know what’s going on in your home, whether you’re there or not. It’s an awesome jump forward in home safety technology, if you can afford it.
Best 10-year battery: The X-Sense SD03 is a photoelectric fire alarm that will guard your home from fires for 10 full years—24 hours a day, seven days a week—on just a single built-in battery. It’s a great option for those who can’t hardwire their alarms and may have a hard time remembering to replace batteries.
Best with carbon monoxide detector: The First Alert SCO500B uses to a photoelectric sensor to detect smoke and an electrochemical sensor to detect carbon monoxide. It’s equipped with a voice alert system that can tell you what triggered the alarm and where it is coming from. It’s a great all-in-one device for bedrooms, living rooms, and basements.
Best budget pick: The Kidde i12060 is an ionization smoke alarm that costs about as much as a movie ticket. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some other smoke detectors, but it’ll get the job done. It’s a great addition to a home that’s already equipped with a few photoelectric or dual-sensor alarms.
Even with a fire alarm, don’t forget to keep a fire extinguisher on hand. And if you’d like to get a new carbon monoxide alarm to go with your smoke detector, check out our review of the best CO alarms.
In the case of a fire you're going to want your valuables kept in a fireproof safe.