Retraction: SimpliSafe Smoke/CO Detectors ARE Reliable
Dear SimpliSafe Community,
A few weeks ago, I challenged the reliability of the SimpliSafe system as a Fire Warning System. My concerns were largely based on what I perceived as a lack of comprehensive testing to meet the necessary standards for fire safety. After pouring over the user manuals and technical documents, I only found evidence of testing for the Smoke/CO detectors. I claimed that the system, on the whole, lacked sufficient testing, specifically under UL 985 - Standard for Home Fire Warning Systems Units, and suggested that it might not perform reliably in a fire situation.
However, I was mistaken, and I am here to correct my earlier statements.
The necessary components of the SimpliSafe system have indeed undergone rigorous testing by Intertek, an independent testing laboratory with over 135 years of experience. The tested and listed devices related to Fire Warning Systems include:
- Base Station (UL-985)
- Auxiliary Siren (UL-464)
- Combination Smoke/CO Alarm (UL-2034 Ed. 4 & UL 217)
- Smoke Alarm (UL 268)
If you are a SimpliSafe user and wish to install SimpliSafe as a Fire Alarm System in your home, here are some steps to follow:
- Contact SimpliSafe for setting and installation information. This step may be a little complicated as there currently seems to be a lack of readily available documentation for necessary settings adjustments. However, the support team should be able to provide you with the necessary information.
- Install your Smoke and Smoke/CO Alarms in the same manner as traditional devices.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms (CO) outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
- Purchase and install the Auxiliary Siren. Although the Base Station has a built-in siren, it lacks the necessary testing for it to be approved as a notification appliance.
- NFPA 72 requires that the sound level for audible notification appliances be at least 15 dB above the ambient sound level "at the pillow". The siren is rated as a 105 dB siren, and should suffice. However, if you have a large home or closed doors blocking sound, you may need additional sirens.
A point that still needs to be addressed is the inspection, testing, and maintenance of the system. Such procedures are crucial and required by codes and standards. As of today, SimpliSafe does not provide this service. While Fire Inspectors may not necessarily inspect private homes for compliance, it is important to have a means to ensure that your system is operating reliably.
I sincerely apologize for any confusion caused by my earlier statement, and I hope this correction provides the necessary clarity.