Nest has put a halt to sales of their connected Nest Protect smoke detector over concerns that the alarm could be unintentionally deactivated. Protect smoke alarms have a "Protect Wave" feature which allows users to deactivate the alarm when it's activated under not dangerous conditions (say, smoke from cooking) by waving at the alarm. The Nest Wave feature has been found in Nest's own testing to be possible to be deactivated under "a unique combination of circumstances".
At this point, Nest will in the next 24 hours be issuing a software update that will deactivate the Nest Wave feature. They are also issue a sales stop on all sales of Nest Protect smoke detectors to avoid a device with the feature (which is enabled by default) from being installed.
Nest has promised to fix Nest Wave and will issue a follow-up software update to reenable it, but for now Nest Protect owners won't be able to wave at their smoke detectors to turn them off. If that means that lives will potentially be saved by a device whose primary purpose is to help save lives, we're okay with that.
Consumer Safety Notice for Nest Protect: Smoke + CO Alarm
To the Nest community:
Since introducing the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm, we've heard touching stories from many of you about how we've helped keep you and your families safe. I consider your safety a huge part of my job and it's something I think about and take pride in every day.
At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.
We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.
Here's what this means for you:
If you have a Nest Protect connected to a Nest Account via Wi-Fi
Within 24 hours, Nest Wave will be automatically disabled. You don't need to do anything and even with this feature disabled, our smoke alarm will continue to work very effectively, monitoring for increased levels of smoke and CO in the home. For more information, click here.
If you have a Nest Protect that is not connected to a Nest Account, or have since taken it offline
It's very important that you immediately connect your Nest Protect to your Nest Account so we can remotely disable Nest Wave. Here are detailed instructions on how to connect your Nest Protect to the Nest Account quickly and easily. Our Customer Support team can also help you. For more information, click here.
If you have a Nest Protect that is not connected to a Nest Account and do not have access to Wi-Fi
If you are unable to immediately connect to a Nest Account, please discontinue use of your Nest Protect and we will give you a complete refund. To claim your refund, visit nest.com/contact/refund. For more information, click here.
If you want to buy a Nest Protect
Nest Wave is on by default in every alarm we sell. To ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update, we've decided to stop all sales while we fix this issue. For updates on availability, please check nest.com.
Once we have a solution that ensures Nest Wave works as intended, we will update our software to turn this feature back on. This will only happen after extensive testing and once we have received approval from safety agencies in the the US, Canada and UK. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we'll continue to update you as we have more information.
We're enormously sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue. The team and I are dedicated to ensuring that we can stand behind each Nest product that comes into your home, and your 100% satisfaction and safety are what motivates us. Please know that the entire Nest team and I are focused on fixing this problem and continuing to improve our current products in every way possible. If you don't want to keep your Nest Protect smoke alarm, we will give you a complete refund.
Our customer support team is available to help answer any and all questions you have, and we've posted detailed answers to some of the questions we anticipate here.
Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.