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Nest—which was recently acquired by Google—pulled its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector from sale today and issued a letter from Tony Fadell, the company’s CEO about a serious potential safety issue that arose in testing. Nest is advising existing owners that a feature on the device that allows users to disable the detector with the wave of a hand will be automatically disabled.

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.

The company is currently working on a resolution for the issue and will put the Nest Protect back on sale once it has been fixed.

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.

Nest will also be working in conjunction with safety officials in multiple countries to determine when the device is safe for sale again. Fadell says this process could take up to three months to finish, meaning the device will be unavailable for quite some time.

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One Response to “Nest pulls Nest Protect smoke detector from sale, remotely disables ‘wave’ feature due to safety hazard”

  1. Here is what I think is really behind this decision:

    It may have to do with they claimed issue of waving a real fire… but my personal take is that Nest realized they had a faulty design/hardware that has been causing many false alarms for many users like me.

    The design of the unit made it very difficult to stop the false alarm… think climbing a tall ladder in the middle of the night, unplug the smoke detector from the 120V connection, find a small jewellers screwdriver to take the tiny screws off the back and finally take the batteries out to silence the unit. If you are luckily the other units in the house will stop… but if not repeat the process.

    Nest must had to find a way to stop selling the faulty product while showing they were focussed on keeping users safe. Trust me, you don’t feel safe when your smoke alarm goes off for nothing in the middle of the night and can’t be stopped. It does not give you confidence the product will actually work right if there was a fire either. Imagine being away and getting an email about your smoke detector going off… Major heart stop.

    Any way, I bet nest will end-up either refunding everyone and stop selling the protect for ever or replace all units they sold with a new improved design that will not cause false alarm and that will be much easier to turn off in case of a false alarm… like getting rid of the small screws at the back.