Troubleshooting false alarms

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If Nest Protect sounds a smoke alarm when there is no smoke, or if it chirps and your Nest app says there’s a sensor failure, then it needs your attention. In some cases, this occurs because dust got into the smoke chamber or steam has set it off. Dusting your Nest Protect and placing it away from any sources of steam can solve the issue.

Dusting your Nest Protect

All photoelectric smoke alarms can be impacted by dust. So it’s important to keep your Nest Protect free of dust during the installation process and to clean it if dust is building up. Nest Protect constantly monitors its sensors, to ensure that they’re working properly, so if dust interferes with the smoke sensor Nest Protect can let you know. But it’s still important to keep an eye out for dust build-up to help keep your Nest Protect clean and working properly.

There are two signs that dust may have made it into the smoke chamber:

– Nest Protect begins to chirp and the Nest app says “The smoke sensor has failed”.

– Nest Protect sounds a Heads Up or Emergency Alarm saying there’s smoke, even though there isn’t.

Learn more about Nightly Promise:

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night because your smoke alarm was chirping? Nest Protect has a better way: Nightly Promise. Each night when you turn out the lights you’ll get a quick green glow which means the batteries and sensors of Nest Protect are working. This means no dreaded chirps at midnight so you can sleep safe and sound.

Nest Protect constantly monitors its internal sensors, batteries and Wi-Fi connection. Nightly Promise lets you know the results of this Self Test every night when you turn out the lights. And if the Nest Protects in your home are connected, Nightly Promise doesn’t just let you know if the alarm nearest you is working. It shows you the status of every Nest Protect in the house.

If you see your Nest Protect glow green as you turn out the lights, you know its sensors, Wi-Fi, and batteries are working, as are the sensors, Wi-Fi, and batteries of all your other interconnected Nest Protects.

If your Nest Protect glows yellow instead, that means there’s a problem with it or with another Nest Protect in your home. Push the Nest button to hear its message:

What you might hear Steps you should take
Nest Protect batteries are low. Put in new batteries.
There’s an issue with the sensors. Replace Nest Protect now.
Wi-Fi has been down for awhile. Troubleshoot the Wi-Fi problem.

If the problem isn’t with the Nest Protect nearest you, you’ll hear which Nest Protect is having trouble. You can also check the Nest app or the Web to view these messages from Nightly Promise.

What if I don’t see Nightly Promise when I turn off the lights?

Nightly Promise uses the ambient light sensor and will only turn on when the room goes from bright to dark. If you don’t see the Nest Protect light when you turn off the lights at night, the room might not be dark enough. Occasionally, if the room becomes dark quickly, Nightly Promise will come on during the day. For example, drapes blowing in the wind or shutters closing can cause Nightly Promise to light up.

If you missed Nightly Promise, simply turn the room lights on for at least 30 seconds, then turn them off again to see the Nightly Promise light. You can also review any Nightly Promise messages with the Nest app or on the Web.

If I see Nightly Promise on one Nest Protect, does that mean they’re all working?

Yes. If you see one Nest Protect glow green for Nightly Promise, that means every Nest Protect in your home has tested itself and is working well.

Can I turn off Nightly Promise?

You can turn off the Nightly Promise light from the Nest app or on the Web. Nest Protect will continue to perform Self Test to ensure everything is working, but it will not glow green when you turn off the lights at night. If a problem is identified during Self Test (such as a low battery) Nest Protect will still tell you by glowing yellow and sending a message to the Nest app.

Nest takes steps during the manufacturing process to ensure that your Nest Protect remains dust-free. We also package it with a dust cap to keep dust out during the shipping process.

However, dust can get into your Nest Protect in several ways. For example, removing the old smoke alarm during installation can stir up dust. This is especially true with wired Protects which have wires running through the wall or ceiling. Dust can also accumulate on your Nest Protect over time, like it can on your furniture and other appliances in your home.

You’ll want to give Nest Protect a thorough dusting, and see if that solves the problem. You can find out how to dust your Nest Protect here:

Placing Nest Protect away from sources of steam

Steam can also trigger false alarms in many smoke alarms. Common household sources of steam include showers and humidifiers. So if you’ve experienced a false alarm and your Nest Protect is placed nearby a source of steam, this may well be the cause.

To help lower the number of false alarms caused by steam, Nest developed Steam Check. Steam Check helps Nest Protect tell the difference between steam-related events and real fire or smoke events.

There’s nothing better than a hot shower to relax, but sometimes all that steam can make your smoke alarm go off when you open the bathroom door. Nest Protect has a way to reduce these annoying nuisance alarms: Steam Check.

Most smoke alarms can’t tell the difference between steam from the shower or smoke from a fire, so they treat them both the same way. This is one of the things we thought we could do better with Nest Protect.

How Steam Check works

To develop Steam Check, Nest tested and recorded steam-generated alarm incidents in the lab, as well as in real home settings. After measuring the differences between steam related events and fire or smoke events, we developed a software algorithm to detect steam related events and reduce nuisance alarms they can cause, while keeping the same level of sensitivity for fire and smoke.

We’ve found that Steam Check can reduce nuisance alarms from steam on Nest Protect by over half.* Sometimes, being smart means keeping quiet.

Does Steam Check mean Nest Protect will never alarm if there’s any steam?

Steam Check won’t stop all alarms related to steam. If the event appears similar to real smoke or fire, even if it’s caused by pure steam, the alarm will sound. When this happens, you’ll need to address the source of the steam and air out the room for Nest Protect to quiet down.

However, on most days, you won’t even notice Steam Check working. All you’ll notice is that your shower is more peaceful than it was before.

How can I enable or disable Steam Check?

Steam Check is on by default, but you can enable or disable Steam Check with the Nest app or on the Web at any time. Select the Nest Protect that you want to change, go to Settings then select Nest Sense and turn Steam Check on or off. Once complete, it can take up to 24 hours for the settings on your Nest Protect to be updated.

While Steam Check helps Nest Protect distinguish between steam and smoke, but it won’t stop all steam-related alarms. If Nest Protect observes steam that appears similar to real smoke or fire, the alarm will sound.

Steam Check helps lower the number of false alarms caused by steam or high humidity, but the best way to eliminate steam-related false alarms completely is to move Nest Protect away from sources of steam like bathrooms and home humidifiers.