Investing in a smoke detector is one of the most important things you can do to keep your home safe. Smoke detectors can alert you to potential fires or other possible emergencies, and can even save the lives of you and your loved ones. But not all detectors are created equally. Some also include carbon monoxide (CO) detection, which is also vitally important to home safety. Some may also be “smart”, meaning they integrate and can be controlled with a smart home hub and/or a smartphone app. First Alert Onelink smoke detectors are both smart and offer CO detection. Here, we highlight the reasons these multifaceted smoke alarms could fit into your home security plan.
First off, a bit of background on the brand: First Alert is a pioneer in the market, having created the very first self-contained battery-powered smoke alarm in 1969. Since then, it has expanded to offer a full array of home safety products, including the now popular smart smoke alarms.
First Alert Onelink detectors appeal to those who are looking to add another gadget to their smart home ecosystem. Customers can connect this device to Amazon Alexa and/or Apple HomeKit, providing more choices for home automation. This, this alarm is a great pick for someone who likes the bells and whistles of a smart home system, and also doesn’t mind paying a little extra money for the increased usability.
- Smart home options: A standard smoke and CO alarm will do its job. But what we love about the Onelink alarms is that you can connect them to a smart home system. You can verbally ask Alexa the status of your alarm, and also get updates sent straight to your smartphone if anything is wrong. While you’ll certainly pay more for these added features, we think it’s worth it for the peace of mind and increased functionality. They also interconnect to work together and alert you to problems in any area of the home. Some models even function as a bluetooth speaker.
- Alexa: If you opt for the Onelink Safe & Sound model, there’s no need for a separate smart assistant. Amazon Alexa is built right into the Safe & Sound. You can ask Alexa questions and even listen to music through the device’s speaker.
- Dual functionality: While a smoke alarm is important, purchasing First Alert Onelink means you not only get smoke detection, but also a carbon monoxide detector. You’re getting two for the price of one, and also adding an increased layer of security to your home.
- Mobile and voice alarms: If there is either a smoke or carbon monoxide issue within your home, a Onelink smoke alarm will send an alert straight to your smartphone (iOS and Android). Another feature you’ll be glad to have is the First Alert Onelink voice alarm. If there is an emergency within your home, you will hear a voice emitted from the alarm letting you know about the threat, and where it is located within your home.
- Price: A Onelink smoke detector costs two to three times the amount of a traditional model, which could deter the more budget-conscious consumer. But you should consider the extras you receive with this product: carbon monoxide detection, home automation options and voice alerts. You’re certainly paying for more features with the higher price.
- App: The app leaves plenty to be desired, according to both Apple and Google app stores. From connection to control issues, it seems like the app may not work as well as the actual device. The only plus side here is that customer service responds to the complaints on the app store review page, so hopefully these issues are being addressed and resolved in future updates.
- Sensor type: This particular smoke alarm has a photoelectric sensor, but not an ionization sensor. Photoelectric sensors respond better to smoke, while ionization sensors detect fast-moving fires with more flames. Ideally, a smoke alarm will have both sensors to detect both types of fires.
The Onelink was named one of our picks for the best smoke detectors
First Alert Onelink tech features
- Option for hardwired or battery powered: If you’re replacing a hardwired smoke detector, there’s a Onelink for that. The hardwired setup means you won’t have to worry about forgetting to change the batteries, and we like that there is also a battery backup in case your home loses power. However, if you don’t have wiring and don’t want to hire an electrician to install some, you can opt for the battery-powered model.
- Mobile and voice alerts: If there is an irregularity with carbon monoxide readings or if smoke is detected within the home, users receive an alert via smartphone. That way, you can know there’s a potential problem even if you’re away. In addition, the First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound model also provides voice alerts from the system itself that lets you know the type of danger and where it is located within your home.
- Home automation options: Whether you’re an Android or Apple fan, you can choose to incorporate the Onelink smoke detector into your smart home ecosystem. Ask Alexa the status of your alarm system, and she’ll reply by voice. We love the fact that you get Alexa features built into this system, which makes the high price tag a little easier to justify.
- Interconnectivity: If you have more than one of Onelink, they can be programmed to all work together. That means if there’s trouble in one area of your home, all of the devices will alert you immediately, with specifics on where the problem is.
Onelink Smoke detector installation
If you’re replacing a wired smoke detector, the Onelink installation process is fairly simple. Begin by removing your old smoke detector. Utilize the mounting bracket provided with your Onelink smoke detector and plug into the AC power to install in place. After that, simply pair the device with the Onelink app. Once that is completed, you can pair the Alexa with your Amazon account.
The battery-powered version should be even easier to install, as it doesn’t need any wiring at all. You should, however understand the best areas of your home to place a smoke detector before you hook it up.
What you need to know
First Alert Onelink smoke detectors are reliable, but since they only have one type of sensor, they may not be as good at detecting fast-moving fires with heavy flames as they are with detecting smoke and CO. Users enjoy using the built-in Alexa features.
Since you can choose from a hardwired model, a battery-powered model and an upgraded model with full Alexa capabilities and speaker, you’ll likely find one that suits you and your home.
They are also compatible with Apple Airplay 2, Spotify, Pandora, Audible, SiriusXM, IHeart, Alexa and Apple HomeKit. There are no home security plans directly offered through First Alert, but you can check with your security company to see if it is HomeKit compatible and can link it with your detector.
There are three different Onelink models to choose from:
- About safe and sound: First Alert introduces Onelink Safe and Sound, an Alexa enabled, Apple HomeKit compatible hardwired photoelectric...
- Easy mobile controls: Get remote notifications of an emergency in your home for 24/7 safety, plus track carbon monoxide levels, customize...
- No more confusing beeps: Track battery levels in the app and optimize safety by knowing when it’s time to replace them. AirPlay 2 enables...
- Voice alerts: Key voice location technology annoz the type and location of the danger in your home, keeping your entire home safe and...
- Easy to install: Optimal ceiling placement enhances the speaker’s acoustic quality; make installation fast and easy by using the included...
When it comes to a top-of-the-line smoke detector, the First Alert Onelink models certainly beat competitors with their impressive features. If you can afford to spend $100 to $200 on a smoke detector, you’ll get so much more than just smoke detection.
Aside from a carbon monoxide detector, this product has built-in Alexa capabilities, and if you opt for the Safe & Sound model, you’ll get a pretty impressive speaker to boot. While it keeps you safe, it can also keep you entertained with plenty of apps to play music and also Apple Airplay 2.
The bottom line is, if you’re looking for a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with a ton of extra features, and don’t mind paying for them, a Onelink is a solid choice to make your home an even safer place.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.