First Alert Smoke Alarm With Photoelectric Sensor

Last updated date: April 12, 2019

DWYM Score

7.4

First Alert Smoke Alarm With Photoelectric Sensor

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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 Smoke Alarm With Photoelectric Sensor placed 11th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

BRK has been the top choice of contractors in the commercial market for over 50-years. Marketed to builders, electrical contractors serving single family, multifamily, hotel/motel, RV and manufactured homes channels. The contractor-friendly product and packaging design sets the professional standard. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50% and that's important because a home structure fire was reported every 86-seconds. The faster you know about a fire, the faster you can start moving your family outside. The 7010B hardwire alarm works exceptionally well by using photoelectric sensor technology to detect smoldering fires that create a flameless form of combustion. Sources of these fires include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. This alarm comes with 9-Volt battery backup and a single test and silence button. This BRK 7010B Hardwire Alarm is an essential product in protecting those who matter most.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

6.6
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
10 user reviews

What experts liked

The First Alert BRK 7010B is an economical choice, at less than $20, and works via a photoelectric sensor.
- Wiki EZ Vid
This unit has a cool feature called interconnection.
- Find The Top 10
It is capable of being interconnected with up to 18 BRK devices, with a limit of 12 smoke alarms and six other devices, like carbon monoxide (CO) detectors or heat alarms.
- Top Ten Reviews

What experts didn't like

It is only equipped with a photoelectric smoke detector.
- Top Ten 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.