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Nest Halts ‘Protect’ Smoke Alarm Sales, Says Can Accidentally Turn Off

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Nest CEO Tony Fadell has taken to the company’s website to announce they are stopping sales of their Nest Protect smoke detector over safety concerns. The so called Nest Wave feature which turns off your alarm (via a wave of your hand) can be possibly activated by accident:

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. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

To solve this issue, the company is stopping all new sales and offering refunds for those who wish not to keep their Protect smoke detector. Once the company has a solution to ensure the feature works properly, sales will resume in 2-3 months after safety agencies in Canada, the U.S. and UK approve.

Sometimes a simple battery operated old school smoke alarm beats high tech systems such as the Nest Protect. You can read our Protect review here.

Anyone going to return their Nest Protect over this issue?

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  • erth

    nope. this is the price of leading edge technology.

  • SlyC

    Why not throw out a firmware update that disables the wave function until the solution is found. In my experience, the wave feature is more likely not to deactivate the alarm than the opposite.

  • Chrome262

    you try to turn off and old school alarm after its gone off for burnt toast. pain in the ass have to find a broom or something to hit the button. I do agree on why they couldn’t just send out a firmware update. What I am thinking is they are looking to do just that, but don’t want a temp one to turn it off, just make it less sensitive or something. My suggesting is to add the voice activation to it as well. So it would be the wave and “turn off” or something. Or you push your nest which is easier to reach lol.

  • Chrome262

    They passed all safety requirements, so they could of easily said nothing and quietly updated the firmware, so good for them. If I had one, I wouldn’t of cared actually.

  • Scott

    They did send out an update that disabled the wave feature. They stopped selling them so that new devices were not requiring an update right away

  • Scott

    Also the wave feature cannot turn off the alarm if it’s a full alarm. It can only silence the warning ones. Once smoke is too strong it will not turn off

  • Chrome262

    So why recall? is it because if it does it before an actual event it silences the main alarm?

  • Chrome262

    Am I wrong, but can’t you silence a warning through the app as well? so even if they did disable the wave its still easy to silence?

  • Scott

    To the Nest community:

    Since introducing the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm, we’ve heard touching stories from many of you about how we’ve helped keep you and your families safe. I consider your safety a huge part of my job and it’s something I think about and take pride in every day.

    At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. 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. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

    We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.

  • Scott

    That was the email from the CEO

  • Chrome262

    yeah saw that, didn’t however pay attention to the “could delay an alarm” part lol. sorry.

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