A smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds a warning in the presence of too much smoke or carbon monoxide. Smoke and carbon monoxide kill things that breathe. Pretty simple logic dictates that, since we all breathe, we should be paying reverent attention to smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Then why unplug, power down or otherwise ignore yours? Seriously. Why? Well, we occasionally do it too, and for the same reason as you: normal smoke and CO alarms are calibrated too sensitively and become annoying. If we wanted someone to point out that we yet again burned the pizza crust, we'd ask our kids. Yet 62 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without functioning smoke alarms (or homes without any device at all). That's two thirds or fire deaths that are potentially preventable, and here we are unplugging our alarm when we get a little irked on date night.
Nest has innovated before -- their smart thermostat brought the home heating arena into the modern age -- and they've gone and done it again, this time to save lives rather than make us a little more comfortable. Their Protect smoke and CO alarm features a two-stage alert process: if levels of smoke or CO are on the rise but not at lethal levels, a verbal warning (e.g. "heads up: there's smoke in the kids' bedroom") is sounded and a yellow light comes on, both dismissible with a deliberate wave of an adult's arm thanks to the motion sensors within the device. It'll turn from yellow to red and sound a full-scale alarm and a verbal message should levels continue to rise; and if smoke or CO levels escalate to dangerous amounts quickly, the Nest skips the yellow "heads up" alert and goes straight to the red, full-scale alarm.
The Nest Protect App integrates with the Nest alarm so users can track alarms and battery levels, create emergency plans and automatically alert their emergency contacts via a mobile device. The Protect also links to the Nest Thermostat to shut down a furnace if CO levels set off the alarm. To avoid the obnoxious battery chirp we all hate, the Protect flashes a green glow at night that signifies a healthy battery life, and changes to yellow to signal when a recharge is needed; when the lights are out, a motion sensor lights up the same LEDs (white this time) to escort you to the bathroom sans stubbed toe. Not to mention it looks like something out of MoMA. A gorgeous, intelligent lifesaver, the Nest Protect is almost exactly like Baywatch-era Pam Anderson -- almost.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
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