First Alert Interconnected Wireless Smoke Alarm

Last updated date: October 7, 2020

DWYM Score

8.4

First Alert Interconnected Wireless Smoke Alarm

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We looked at the top Smoke Detectors and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smoke Detector you should buy.

Update as October 14, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smoke Detector for a detailed review of all the top smoke detectors.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 59 expert reviews, the First Alert Interconnected Wireless Smoke Alarm placed 8th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

This First Alert SA511CN2-3ST Interconnected Wireless Smoke Alarm with Voice Location features an 85-decibel siren and voice alarm with 11 programmable locations that tells you where the danger is located. A photoelectric sensor detects smoke while minimizing false alarms from cooking or shower steam. These interconnected smoke detectors come in a convenient pack of 2 and are designed to work together throughout your home, with one alarm triggering the other alarm during an emergency, creating a home safety network. You can wirelessly connect it with up to 18 other First Alert enabled alarms in your home. The battery-operated alarms don't require hardwiring for installation and will provide con tinued monitoring even in the event of a power failure. In the event of a fire every second counts. If a fire were to begin in your basement and the alarm there sounded, you may not hear it right away if you're sound asleep two floors up. With traditional battery-operated alarms, you lose valuable time waiting for the smoke to rise to another alarm, on another level, before the alarm on your floor sounds. But with First Alert ONELINK alarms, if one detects danger, they all sound. This can alert you sooner, and it increases your chances of getting out safely. Until now, alarms that could signal each other were only available in homes with hardwired alarms requiring installation from an electrician. But First Alert ONELINK alarms communicate without wires. ONE Link-with Voice Location Smoke alarm is programmable with up to 11 locations in your home - when alarm sounds it will tell you the location of the smoke. The wireless feature allows multiple alarms to talk to each other - when one alarm sounds, they all sound. The wireless network operates on 914 MHZ 3 channels and will not interfere with other electronics. The ONELINK smoke alarms uses photoelectric sensing technology which is environmentally friendlier and which reduces nuisance alarms, making it ideal for cooking areas. It is also great for sensing slow smoldering fires quickly. A low battery signal alerts you to replace the battery. The test/silence button both silences a non-threatening alarm or low battery warning and allows you to test the unit's functionality. The AA batteries are easy to install in the convenient pullout battery drawer. Two AA batteries included.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.0
7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.2
791 user reviews

What experts liked

This model is a photoelectric alarm, so it’s effective against both slow-burning, smoldering fires and fast-burning, flaming fires.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 17, 2018 | Full review
Speaking of which, the device can be connected to up to 18 more smoke alarms, making the First Alert SA511CN2-3ST a great fit for larger homes.
- Tuck
September 6, 2018 | Full review
Meanwhile, the SA511CN2-3ST is also designed to prevent false alarms and it won’t sound as a result of shower steam or cooking.
- Home Safety Dot
February 4, 2019 | Full review
Not only is it a wireless smoke alarm that can wirelessly connect throughout your home, the Voice Location will tell you exactly where the fire is, saving valuable time by directing you to the right location.
- Safety Products Unlimited
They also appreciate that this alarm has loud voice prompts indicating which smoke is detected and most say they have no problem with false alarms.
- B4 Best Reviews
This First Alert Smoke Alarm is battery operated with an 85-decibel alarm and 11 programmable locations that use voice alerts to tell the family which room is in danger.
- Safety
February 27, 2019 | Full review
The smoke detector employs the photoelectric sensing technology, which makes it very efficient.
- Z7 Premium
October 23, 2018 | Full review

What experts didn't like

The main downside to our First Alert pick is that the wireless units are available only with photoelectric sensors—none of the company’s ionization alarms have wireless connectivity.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 17, 2018 | Full review
Connecting multiple units can be problematic.
- Home Safety Dot
February 4, 2019 | Full review
The batteries are drained faster than with other comparable models.
- Safety Products Unlimited
No long run.
- B4 Best Reviews

An Overview On Smoke Detectors

A properly installed, well-maintained and good quality smoke detector can literally save your life and the lives of those you love the most. Deciding the best brand and size for your home can be difficult since so much is riding on the little, plastic devices working as they should.

Battery-operated smoke detectors run solely on batteries, which are easy and affordable to install and replace. You can use a battery-operated detector in virtually any location. Provided the batteries are changed as needed, they will work during power outages as well.

Hardwired smoke detectors are connected directly into your home’s wiring. While they must be professionally installed, many have backup batteries that will last the lifetime of the alarm. So you can feel safe and not worry about remembering to change the batteries.

Many smoke detectors produce a loud, beeping or bleating alarm sound when triggered. This could certainly be ideal to alert you to fire or smoke danger. However, if you have heavy sleepers or young children in your home, they could be confused by or even sleep through the noisy alarm. Devices such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm use voice alerts to explain what is happening. They can awaken you or notify you with spoken, easy to understand warnings.

According to the CDC, at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year in the United States. Considering a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide detector could result in double protection for your home and family. Carbon monoxide can come from leaky furnaces, poorly ventilated wood-burning stoves and many other sources commonly found in homes.

If you have a home security system, you might wish to consider purchasing a smoke detector that will integrate with your current configuration. This could give you increased protection, as many security providers monitor alarms like smoke detectors and can send emergency assistance even if you are away from home or unable to call for help.

Some smoke detectors are compatible with other smart home devices. For instance, devices such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm can be integrated with smart hubs, mobile apps and virtual assistants, like Google Home and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

Of course, when shopping for new smoke detectors for your home, office or other location, you must consider how much you want to spend. Fortunately, there are devices that will fit any budget, depending on features, projected lifespan and other attributes.

The Smoke Detector Buying Guide

  • Ionization smoke detectors are ideal for detecting small particles associated with quick-burning flames. However, things like steam or burnt food can cause them to go off, so you might not want to use these in or near your bathroom or your kitchen.
  • Photoelectric smoke detectors are highly rated for early detection of smoldering fires that emit lots of smoke and large particles. While they have fewer false alarms, making them a good choice for kitchens and steamy areas, they might not detect fast-burning flames as quickly.
  • Dual-sensor smoke detectors provide the benefits of ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors. Alternatively, you could install different types of devices in different areas of your home.
  • Look for a UL stamp on a smoke detector before you buy it. Underwriters Laboratories (UL LLC) is a global safety company that certifies, validates, tests, verifies, inspects and audits a wide range of products including smoke detectors. The UL certification mark is the single most accepted one in the United States.
  • Be sure to check the date on a smoke detector as well. Although recommendations can vary between makes and models, Consumer Reports recommends replacing smoke detectors every 10 years. Note that this should be 10 years after the date the device was manufactured, not the date it was installed. Fortunately, the manufacture date is printed on the underside of smoke detectors.
  • The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing smoke alarms inside every bedroom as well as outside each sleeping area. On floors without bedrooms, smoke detectors should be installed in living areas, such as the living room or den, and near stairways to upper levels as well.
  • While homes built to earlier standards might be exempt, every state has regulations and standards regarding where and how smoke detectors are installed in residential buildings. Check the regulations or recommendations for your state, as some states require that you make necessary upgrades before renting or selling your home.
  • The U. S. Fire Administration recommends testing your smoke detectors monthly. Put a monthly reminder on your phone or calendar to push the button on every detector in your home to make sure the alarm works properly.
  • USFA also recommends changing the batteries in battery-operated smoke detectors one to two times per year. An effective way to remember this is to replace them every time you change your clocks for Daylight Savings.