Geoffrey Wiseman

Replacement Cost of Nest Protect

Apple Touch IDAs the rumors started to surface about Nest making a smoke alarm, I wondered how much it would cost, and whether or not it would have a similar replacement timeframe to most smoke alarms.

Most smoke alarms expire, and must be replaced. When you buy more expensive fire alarms, you need to consider the fact that the alarm will still need to be replaced.

After the Nest Protect was announced, it wasn't hard to fulfill my curiosity. The nest protect user's guide says:

Nest Protect has a limited life like any smoke/ CO alarm. Nest Protect lifetime is 7 years. You will need to replace Nest Protect after7 years with a brand new Nest Protect. Check the date of replacement written on the back of Nest Protect.

The cost of a Nest Protect is $129. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors here in Canada seem to range from about $10-$70 for the most part, making the Nest Protect pretty expensive by comparison.

For my three-storey house with our particular bedroom arrangement, the Ontario fire code (Section 2.13) recommends four alarms, one per storey including the basement. (One per storey is adequate for the various bedrooms since they all are adjacent to the central landings). That means that a Nest Protect system would cost me ($129 x 4) / 7 years, or $73/yr.

An alternative alarm costing $50 would set me back $29/yr, and a $70 alarm would cost $40/yr. The nest has some nice features, and I can see the appeal, but I'm not yet certain if I'm ready to pay an extra $44/yr or $33/yr for the privilege. It's too bad they can't (or didn't) separate the part that expires from the rest of the alarm and offer a lowered replacement cost.

I'd like to see one in person and read some reviews.