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Seen At 11: New ‘Smart’ Smoke Detectors Could Save More Lives

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – With the new year comes new technology, and in this case, life-saving devices that have adapted to the times.

Between burning the occasional dinner or allowing the batteries to die, you’ve likely heard your smoke detector go off. But some fire experts say that those false alarms can often lead to tragedies when homeowners disable smoke detectors out of frustration.

As CBS 2′s Maurice DuBois reported Tuesday, two-thirds of all fatal fires happen in homes that don’t have working smoke alarms, many disabled by homeowners themselves.

Now, new so-called “smart” designs have been developed in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that promise to protect while producing fewer false alarms.

“It absolutely revolutionizes what smoke detectors are supposed to do,” CNET’s Lindsey Turrentine said of the Nest Protect.

A sleek-looking device — the Nest Protect can detect the slightest levels of smoke and carbon monoxide, and give you a verbal warning.

Tom Shemeley, a New Jersey fire marshal, said what makes the device unique is that it can pinpoint exactly where the potential trouble is in your home and send you an alert if you link it to your smart phone.

The Iophic is another new smoke detector on the market.  It uses smart technology to differentiate between cooking smoke and real smoke, DuBois reported.

Then there is the Birdi, which monitors the air quality of your home and can send an alert to your smart phone or landline when it detects that something is not right.  The device can also contact the fire department if there’s an emergency.

Experts say the new breed of smoke detectors respond nearly 90 percent faster to slow smoldering fires compared to conventional smoke alarms.

The smart smoke detectors are also more expensive compared to their older counterparts, some of which can run up to $130.

Whatever device you choose, experts say to make sure you have a working smoke detector positioned on each floor of your home.

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