When it comes to carbon monoxide leaks, many people have a  ‘It can’t happen in my house’ mentality. Whether your house is brand new or 30 years old, there is definitely a reason to worry about the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak. CO is colourless, odourless, and even low doses can cause symptoms like headaches, nausea, and dizziness. In higher doses CO can very easily kill you with no warning at all.

The real threat of CO is only one of the reasons the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm is one of the most innovative devices to hit the market. It simplifies home protection by combining a smoke detector with a carbon monoxide monitor, and it adds a high tech element so you can check in on your home even when you aren’t there.

Even though most people know about the dangers of CO, 60% of Canadians don’t have a CO monitor installed in their homes. CO is so deadly Ontario recently passed the Hawkins Gignac Act, amending the Ontario building code and requiring the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. I’m sure other Provinces won’t be far behind.

This is where the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm steps in. Not only is it practical to purchase because it doubles as both a smoke and carbon monoxide monitor, it’s easy to install, inexpensive, and smart too.

Here are the features for the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm:

  • Easy to install, it comes in a wired or battery operated version
  • If it goes off and it’s a false alarm, you can silence it with a wave of your hand instead of standing under it frantically waving a towel or broom
  • Has a voice alert and voice alarms, so if you sleep through the loud beeping of the monitor it will talk to you in a human voice
  • Sends a message to your smartphone if your alarm goes off when you aren’t home or if the battery is running low
  • Runs with the Nest app to let you manage and check in on your Nest Protect and your Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Glows green in the dark so you know with one look that everything is OK

Two levels of protection, one smart device

You know how smoke detectors can malfunction and go off randomly? When I was growing up ours would beep at the most ridiculous times, and I’d hear my Dad get up at 4 am and pull it down off the ceiling to make it stop. Everyone would go back to sleep completely unprotected if there was a fire. Sometimes he remembered to replace the batteries and put it back up, other times it sat on his night stand for weeks.

Because you can turn off the Nest Protect with a wave of your hand when it goes off, you’ll never be tempted to give up your fire protection, even temporarily. And if the batteries get low, you’ll receive a notification right to your smart phone. That means peace of mind and no 4 am wake up beeps.

The Nest Protect will go off if either carbon monoxide or smoke is detected in your home, and it will use a loud alert and a human voice alarm to wake you up and get you out of the house.

Here’s a Vine video I took to give you an idea of the human voice Nest Protect uses. Because it was taken with Vine, the same 5 seconds will loop over and over. You can click to turn off the audio.

Easy to install, easy to use

I tried out the battery powered Nest Protect and it was a 5 minute installation. They recommend you have one on each level of your house and in strategic areas like the hallway, living room, master bedroom, or basement.

Once it’s up there, you’ll want to test it out. I loved how Nest Protect talks to you while you’re testing, and it will even warn you when it’s about to become really loud. Once it’s finished testing it’s ready to go. You can also put your Nest Protect through it’s testing via the Nest app.

I’ve had the monitor in place for two weeks and haven’t had a false alarm yet. It glows green in the hallway when I turn off the hall light, and I love how I can check in via the app anytime I want to.

I like it so much I’m going to purchase another and place it by my natural gas fireplace on the other level of my house, just in case.

Monitor from anywhere with the Nest App

The Nest app takes home monitoring to the next level. Once you’ve downloaded it and connected it to your home network, the app wirelessly synchs with your Nest Protect to give you up to the minute monitoring information for everything from when it last updated to the last time you manually tested it. If you have the battery powered version it will also let you know if your battery power is OK.

Within the app is an emergency contact list, and in case of an emergency the Nest app will give you instant access to the phone numbers of your choice. There is also a ‘How to’ built into the app to show you how to test your Nest Protect and hush it with the Nest Wave. You can even turn on certain functions on Nest Protect, like Pathlight to light up the Nest Protect or to activate or turn off the Nest Wave, just in case you don’t want to be able to wave it off.

You can also monitor your home online at the Nest.com website. Just login with your user name and password and check in on how your home is doing.

Pair it with the Nest Learning Thermostat

The most efficient home automation happens when everything you have installed starts to function together, and that’s exactly what the Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat do.

When you have both the wired version of the Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Auto-Away and Auto Arrival feature on your Thermostat work even better.  The Nest Learning Thermostat has an auto-away and auto-arrival feature to detect when no one is home and when you arrive. Because the thermostat is generally placed in areas like the top of the stairs or down a side hallway, it can’t always detect your presence right away. By installing the Nest Protect in a high-traffic area, both devices can work together to detect when you’re home, keeping you warm and saving you money on your heating bills.

Another great way the two devices work together? If Nest Protect detects carbon monoxide and sends out an alarm, the Nest Learning Thermostat will automatically shut off your furnace to stop the spread of the CO. And because a leaky furnace is the most common source of CO in the home, having an auto-shut off in this situation can be a lifesaver.

Even though the Nest Learning Thermostat will shut off your furnace if it detects CO, Nest still recommends you immediately leave the house as soon as the CO alarm goes off.

Rating for Nest Protect

Easy to install – 5/5

Interface – 5/5

App & monitoring – 5/5

Over the past year I’ve installed a lot of different gadgets to automate and monitor my home, but for peace of mine you just can’t beat Nest Protect. A CO protection device is one of the most important gadgets you’ll ever install, and pairing it with the Nest Learning Thermostat gives your home an added layer of protection.

Check out the battery Nest Protect and the wired version of Nest Protect on Bestbuy.ca.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


  1. OBC requires smoke alarms to be wired interconnect (not wireless like Nest). And as of 2015, they are also required to have a visual indicator (ie strobe light) as noted in

  2. Does the Nest Protect fully comply with the OBC (Ontario Building Code)?
    I have had several building inspectors tell me that it is not, and I have heard of several people who have had their permit’s denied because they used Nest Protect.

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