If you’re reading this thread, you probably already know that there are limited choices with regard to z-wave smoke detectors. Fibaro, First Alert and the other smoke detectosr offered are battery operated, not mains-powered (hard-wired). Without hard wiring, you don’t have the dead-simple (reliable) messenger wire to create a network of interconnected smoke detectors. In many jurisdictions, building code requires detectors be both hard wired and interconnected.
So I want BOTH, but I also want Z-Wave (or Zigbee). Apart from the obvious things like OH integration (and monitoring the detector’s backup-battery charge level (to avoid a chirping detector at 3:00AM) I want to TEST the smoke detector with Z-Wave (OH). Best practice is to test your detectors monthly. Does anyone actually do that? Of course not. Why? Because it’s too much of a PITA to get a ladder/chair press the button (and damage your hearing 12" away from the horn).
An OH/Z-Wave triggered test would allow convenient testing (enough to ACTUALLY do it). Furthermore, if detectors are interconnected, full testing wouldn’t require multiple people. A single person could test the ‘downstairs’ detector from the upstairs (and vise versa), ensuring that the interconnected-ness causes the others’ alarm to go off.
Yeah, but REALLY, how important is testing? I’m no expert, but I always thought the need was exaggerated. Recently I tested mine and… Nothing. it didn’t go off. I pressed the test button again… Nothing. I held up a smoldering match… Nothing. Then… I rebooted the detector, and… it works fine again. Who knew that smoke alarms could need to be …rebooted?! How scary is that? So… now I test.
For the holy grail of smoke detectors, I had the idea of rolling-your-own by way of embedding a Fibaro Smart Implant into a detector. Has anyone seen/tried this? The smart implant could find power from the detector’s own power supply (SMPS from mains), and the detector it could use one of its relays to momentarily close the test contacts (for remote testing via Z-Wave/OH). The Smart Implant’s sensor leads could be attached to the horn terminals, or LED lights, or even the messenger wire (9v DC to ground IIRC) to detect an active alarm by detecting the presence of voltage.
This roll-your-own idea seems like it might be worthwhile. EVEN IF some company were to come up with a mains-powered Z-Wave detector, it likely wouldn’t be quite the right product for all cases. For example, in a kitchen you want a Photoelectric detector (less sensitive than ionic detection but less prone to false alarms). Near a bedroom you want the high sensitivity afforded by a DUAL unit with BOTH Photoelectric and ionic detection (i.e. false alarms are less likely near a bedroom so maximum sensitivity is desirable). In a basement on the other hand you may want a COMBO unit that detects both Carbon Monoxide and smoke, or a CO-only unit located down low.
I’m hoping someone has tried this, and can share. Otherwise, indicate that you’re interested and I may build one and post about it.