darkemeralds: (catastrophe)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
Late last night I was up on my stepladder, sticking glowy-stars to my bedroom ceiling, when my brand-new Nest Protect smoke and CO detector first flashed yellow, then turned red and started shrieking at me.

"Emergency, emergency," it said (yes, it talks). "There is smoke in the room."

The Next Protect smoke detector

So, because there patently was not smoke in the room, I pushed the big button. The voice said, "Alarm muted," and the Protect obediently went silent, but the big LED circle was still pulsing red.

My windows were open to the fresh night air. I switched on my brand new ceiling fan, then made an inspection. There was no source of combustion anywhere. No near neighbors were barbecuing, bonfire-ing, or getting royally toasted. My gas stove was off and there's no other source of carbon monoxide in or near the house.

The alarm started shrieking again. The voice calmly told me again that there was smoke. I hit the big button once more, then got out the instruction manual to find out how to disable the thing. All it said was to press the big button.

The cycle repeated twice and was clearly going to keep repeating. In between bouts of shrieking and calm-lady-voice telling me that life support failure was imminent and that Mal had better get the damn compression coil to the engine, I Googled for advice.

I'm not the only Protect early-adopter with false alarm problems, I was relieved to learn (because what if it wasn't a false alarm and I fell asleep and breathed carbon monoxide from god-knows-where and died????).

I found the installation manual, which let me reverse-engineer uninstalling it. I climbed the stepladder, pulled the Protect out from the wall, yanked out the power line, and climbed back down with it.

But the Protect, being a safety device, has battery backup. So now it started shrieking and saying, "This alarm cannot be muted." I'm not kidding. I stuffed it under my pillows while I frantically went in search of a small screwdriver to open the case.

I yanked out the batteries. It fell silent at last.

Turns out, approximately ten minutes after Nest sent me my Protect in April, they pulled the product off the market.

Its big selling point (to me and lots of other people) was that it had an excellent sorry-that-was-me-cooking-a-steak false alarm feature where you wave your hand in front of it and it shuts up, even before any actual smoke clears.

Seems there was a software glitch that could have allowed a real alarm to be accidentally silenced. They issued a patch (the device is internet-connected) to disable the wave-to-silence feature, but my experience last night suggests that the patch has also taught the Protect that there's no such thing as a false alarm. Ever. And that air is smoke, apparently.

There won't be any problem getting my money back, but I'm kind of bummed, because it was a really cool smoke detector.

Date: 2014-05-12 11:28 pm (UTC)
bluemeridian: (SPN :: Sam :: Serious)
From: [personal profile] bluemeridian
"This alarm cannot be muted."

It sounds very... persistent. *side-eyes detector*

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