Zit Seng's Blog

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Fibaro Smoke Sensor Review

It’s not common in Singapore for homeowners to install any sort of fire protection devices. It is important, though, and it has been something in the back of my mind. With my recent setting up of home automation system at home, it was timely to include at least one smoke detection device. I decided to try out the Fibaro Smoke Sensor.

Fibaro is a Polish company that sells Z-Wave home automation products and their related devices. I did not get their home automation system. Their devices, though, being Z-Wave should in principle work with other Z-Wave systems, such as the Vera Plus I got.

The Fibaro Smoke Sensor is a smallish, pretty-looking device. It actually looks nicer than the typical smoke detector you’ll find in commercial buildings. It is battery-powered, so you needn’t worry about cabling for a power source. It supports Z-Wave Plus, also known as Z-Wave Gen5 and 500 Series.

Compared with the original Z-Wave standard, the new Z-Wave Plus offers increased range, extended battery life, Over-The-Air (OTA) firmware upgrading, and more RF channels. AES encryption is mandatory in Z-Wave Plus.

Apart from simply detecting smoke, the Fibaro Smoke Sensor also measures temperature. The temperature can be reported to the home automation controller simply for monitoring and trending purposes. Alternatively, the Fibaro Smoke Sensor can also use temperature as an alarm trigger. For example, any temperature reading above 55°C can trigger the alarm. In this way, the Fibaro Smoke Sensor is both a smoke detector and a heat detector.

Fibaro Smoke Sensor

When the alarm is triggered, the Fibaro Smoke Sensor itself will give off a loud piercing beep. It will also, of course, report the alarm to the home automation controller, which you can then configure to perform an action.

Separately, the Fibaro Smoke Sensor can be configured via association groups to directly transmit commands to other Z-Wave devices, so that even when your home automation controller is not working, other devices can be instructed to perform some action.

A really nice thing is that the Fibaro Smoke Sensor has numerous configuration options. For example, you can choose if exceeding temperature threshold will trigger the alarm. The temperature threshold is itself configurable. You can choose, separately, how visual indication and audio alarm will be used to convey various notification statuses. Tampering of the case and the lack of Z-Wave range, for example, can be set to be reflected visually or by audio, or both.

Fibaro Smoke Sensor

Also, a nice safety feature is that the included CR123A battery must be inserted before the casing can be closed. This is good so that in the event you remove the battery for replacement, but somehow forgot to put in the new one, you won’t be able to close the cover.

The Fibaro Smoke Sensor costs £33.07 from Vesternet.

Conclusion

The Fibaro Smoke Sensor is a really good addition to any home for fire protection. It can also double up to monitor temperature.

Pros:

  • Small, good-looking device
  • Detects both smoke and heat
  • Highly configurable

Cons: I can hardly think of a one here!

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