Google Nest smoke alarm found to have fire detection flaw


Google-owned connected devices maker Nest has recalled 440,000 of its smart smoke detectors following the discovery of a fault that could prevent the device alerting users to fires.

The aforementioned fault affects the firm's Protect Smoke + CO devices when they have the Nest Wave feature enabled, which allows users to temporarily silence an alarm by waving.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, who issued the recall notice, having this feature enabled can prevent the device sounding an alarm during a fire if nearby "activity" is detected.

Therefore, users are being urged to connect their devices to the internet in order to receive an electronic update that disables the Nest Wave feature.

"Consumers who have not connected their Nest Protect devices to their wireless network and linked them to a Nest account should immediately do so. The devices will automatically receive the update that disables the Nest Wave Feature," the advisory warns.

"Customers should confirm their devices have been updated by going to Nest Sense on their Nest account mobile or web application and ensuring the button for Nest Wave is off and grayed out."

This isn't the first time the Nest Wave feature's functionality has caused a headache for the firm, which was acquired by Google for 1.9 billion in January.

Last month, the firm was forced to halt sales of its smoke alarms after it emerged that Nest Wave could be inadvertently activated in certain circumstances, resulting in the devices being accidentally switched off.

At the time, Tony Faddell, the company's co-founder, stopped short of outlining the circumstances that could conspire to cause the issue.

"This could delay an alarm going off it there was a real fire," he said.

"The fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.