I, like others diving into home automation, have spent a good deal of time integrating existing features of my home into my new smart home ecosystem. For me, many of my projects have been about taking what still worked with my 20+ year old Honeywell alarm system and making it work with SmartThings. Door and window sensors moved over with ease, but the smoke alarms were more trouble. There is a means to use a Z-Wave contact sensor with a relay wired in to make interconnected smoke detectors trigger SmartThings, but it just didn't work properly for me as I would have frequent false alarms that seemed to be unrelated to the actual smoke detectors, but with something related to the contact sensor or relay. There are also external alarm audio detectors, like Leeo
, which I have been familiar with for a while, but lack direct integration with SmartThings and requires another app and/or IFTTT integration.
In this review we will take a look at an alarm audio detector that features Z-Wave Plus communication, allowing it to be integrated with SmartThings and other Z-Wave controllers. The Ecolink
Firefighter is the device in question, and I picked one up at The Smartest House
for about $40 in hopes that I would end the uncertainty surrounding my previous attempt to integrate my smoke detectors using a contact sensor.
Finding information on the Firefighter while on the Ecolink website is tricky, as all I could discover was information on a similar product that didn't look quite like what I had purchased. But visiting the Z-Wave Alliance
website yields a device that looks right, and has the following description...
The Ecolink Z-Wave Plus FireFighter is an audio detector that listens for your smoke, fire, or Carbon Monoxide alarm and transmits as alert back to your hub to notify you of an event. It is easy to include/exclude with your hub, detector both temporal 3 and 4 patterns of your sensing device, has a 5 year battery life on (1) CR123A Lithium battery included. Dimensions are 3 1/8" x 1" tall. Certified to work with most Z-Wave enabled hubs on the market.
The Smartest House
listing for the Firefighter reveals that it is compatible with Z-Wave controllers from Fibaro, HomeSeer, and Vera. They also list SmartThings, but that you need to contact them for information about a compatible device handler. This is the route I took for the review, and after contacting The Smartest House they were able to link me to a newly created third-party device handler that seems to do the job nicely.
Packaging and Accessories:
I have a few Z-Wave device sin my home from Ecolink, and all of them come packed similarly to the Firefighter. A white and blue box just bigger than the device inside, which includes just a bit of printed data on the various surfaces.
Inside the box, you'll find the Firefighter unit, mounting hardware, and a sheet of installation/operation instructions.