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Flashback Friday: Smoke Detectors

by Sean P. Aune | October 11, 2013October 11, 2013 11:00 pm PST

Smoke detectors may be one of the most important gadgets in your home, but when was the last time you gave them any serious thought?

When the Nest Protect was announced earlier this week I was struck by how little I’ve thought about smoke detectors in a very long time. That surprised me because there was a time when I was but a child in the 1970s that I was obsessed with them. I think I had heard one too many horror stories from my paternal grandfather who was the captain of the Sky Harbor Airport fire station in Phoenix at the time that I had become convinced my house was going to burn down while I was at school.

I became so obsessed with this notion that my grandfather finally called in a favor and had an engine company – truck and all – come to my house to install the smoke detectors in front of me… while my mother gave him a talking down for causing this by sharing too many horror stories with me.

All of that being said, I honestly can’t say right now if any smoke detector in my home has a battery in it. As Nest so correctly pointed out, that blasted chirp that wake you up in the night eventually drives you made, you rip the battery out and then you forget all about it. Perhaps a $129 replacement isn’t the ideal solution for you, but you should at least have some form of detector running in your home at all times. If you haven’t replace the batteries, do so and make sure you keep your family and yourself safe from that unexpected accident that could happen at any time.

Nest is to be commended for at least making people think about this aging technology again. It’s amazing that this piece of life saving technology has seen so few updates over the past few decades while other home appliances have received so many inane updates. Apps on your refrigerator, anyone?

As for me, I won’t return to the way I was in the 70s when I was sure I would come home from school one day to find my house consumed in flames, but I’m off to buy some batteries to make sure they’re all in working order again.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...