The Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm does not make Consumer Reports' smoke alarm recommended list, because it was slow to detect fast-flaming fires in our tests. Yesterday, the company's CEO, Tony Fadell, issued a letter warning owners of the Nest Protect that the alarm could be delayed in the event of a real fire, but for a different reason related to the device's hush feature, called the Nest Wave.
"During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire," Fadell wrote. His letter, along with an FAQ on the company's website, offer instructions for disabling the Nest Wave while the software fix is made. The smoke and CO alarm will continue to operate without the Nest Wave in active mode, the company says.
Faddell also stated that the company, which was purchased by Google for $3.2 billion dollars in January, will halt sales of the Nest Protect. And it will offer a full refund to anyone who owns the Nest Protect. While this design defect in the Nest Protect is unfortunate, give Nest credit for being proactive in alerting its consumers and addressing the issue.
See our report on smoke and CO alarms for a list of recommended models.