A smoke alarm can literally be a life safer. That’s what it does. But there’s two things it can’t do: 1)not annoy when the 9volt battery goes low and it starts chirping, and 2)warn you when you’re not at home to hear its alarm go off. The first issue you can take care of by always replacing the battery regularly, but what about not being around to hear the alarm? If you have the roost Smart Battery, the first minor problem of the battery failing gets bumped up significantly. But it’s the second and more serious problem that really gets solved.
roost is a “smart” battery. It looks like a 9 volt battery and fits in a smoke alarm the way any 9 volt would. As to the first problem, roost uses a replaceable lithium battery that lasts 3-5 times longer than a regular one (thus the “up to 5 years” part of the equation). But there’s also a Wi-Fi connectivity built in — meaning that it wirelessly connects to your home network and thus to an app.
roost comes inert, but you’ve pulled the small tab out of it first to activate its electricity. So you open the smoke alarm, remove the battery and replace it with roost? Yes, but you did first have to pull out the old battery so get off the stool or ladder and sit down with your phone and the roost packaging. Go to the App Store/Google Store and download the roost app. Follow the directions to start an account.
Take the foam insert out from the cardboard sleeve and place it in front of you. See the small earbud speaker? Leave it there, just like the warning sign says and put roost on top of it. Now insert the headphone jack into your phone and “add a new device” and do what’s necessary to connect roost to your home network — a success means hearing a tone and seeing a green check mark. Activate notifications and get back on that ladder and install roost in the smoke alarm. Press the “test” button on the alarm to make that ear-splitting noise. You’ll now see a “test’ notification on your phone. That’s the extent of the physical installation so put the stool/ladder away.
So what else can roost do now? For one thing, if its running low on juice it won’t start that annoying “chirp” which always seems to happen in the middle of the night (instead you’ll get a notification). Did the smoke alarm go off because you burned the roast again? Now you can tell it to shut up (the smoke alarm that is). Of course it will notify you when not at home so you know something is going on, but it can also alert others like a friend or neighbor — handy for someone to eyeball what is going on because you’re not there to see it for yourself. And if you’re inclined to, you can always check the activity history to see the last time the alarm went off or was being tested.
The roost Smart Battery supports all smoke and CO alarms and is about as simple and useful as anyone could ask for. The only other thing to ask for is that it shouldn’t cost much, so it doesn’t, retailing for $34.99.