When it comes to styling your home, one of the areas you often have to compromise on is the design of everyday appliances. Chunky plastic, trailing wires and an array of buttons can drag down the appearance of even the best styled room. But thanks to technology visionaries such as Steve Jobs, home appliances can now be beautiful as well as functional.
You may be familiar with Nest, a home technology company founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers – ex Apple employees who between them worked on the first 18 versions of the iPod and many versions of Apple software.
Nest’s vision is to take the ordinary, unloved things in your home and reinvent them to be simple, fresh and helpful. Their first product was the Nest Thermostat which not only looks about a thousand times better than your average thermostat, it’s also incredibly smart and will learn as it functions to better manage your energy use.
Next up from Nest is Nest Protect – a two in one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide monitor. As their website says, no one really likes smoke alarms – they go off when you’ve burnt your toast or whilst cooking up your stir fry, you never really know if they’re working (if you haven’t burnt the toast lately) and they ALWAYS run out of battery and start that annoying beeping noise at 2am in the morning. But they’re incredibly important in protecting you and your loved ones at home.
According to The Duracell Fire Safety Survey of Australia (April, 2013):
- Overall, 38 per cent of Victorian/Tasmanian family homes have only one smoke alarm installed. Fire services recommend installation of additional smoke alarms to ensure you have sufficient time to escape in the event of a fire;
- Almost half of all Australian rented properties (46 per cent) have only one smoke alarm installed;
- Only 54 per cent of Victorian/Tasmanian households surveyed replace smoke alarm batteries every 12 months, as recommended by Australian fire services;
- Only 31 per cent of Victorian/Tasmanian households know how to test the smoke alarm properly (by pressing the button until the siren sounds);
- 39 per cent of Victorian/Tasmanian households change smoke alarm batteries on a specific date each year; and
- 28 per cent sometimes disconnect their smoke alarm or take out batteries to prevent false alarms.
Statistics also show that you are four times more likely to die in a house fire if you don’t have working smoke alarms installed. Scary stuff.
“We made a smoke and CO alarm you’ll love, because hating it is dangerous” NEST
Nest Protect is designed to better alert you to potential dangers. Before turning on a loud, howling alarm, Nest Protect gives you an early warning by lighting up yellow and speaking with a human voice. It tells you where smoke is or when carbon monoxide levels are rising. This gives you an earlier warning if there’s an emergency, or allows you to silence Nest Protect if it’s just a nuisance alarm, like an overly enthusiastic toaster.
And silencing Nest Protect in the event of a false alarm is easier too – simply wave your hand in front of it. No more frantic flinging of the tea towel for 2 minutes!
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a quieter killer. The death in 2010 of Chase and Tyler Robinson, caused by a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty gas heater in their home, led to a campaign in Australia warning people of the dangers. CO alarms are currently available but not mandatory in homes like a smoke alarm. With Nest Protect, you get the two in one neat device.
And like all Nest products, you can control and monitor your Nest Protect remotely via your smartphone or tablet, so you’ll be alerted if the alarm goes off whilst your away from your home.
Technology in the home is not often high on people’s list of considerations when building or renovating but with these two fantastic products from Nest it’s easy to bring a little style and more importantly, comfort and safety, to some normally mundane appliances.
Note: Nest products are not currently available from a supplier in Australia but can be ordered directly from the Nest website and shipped using one of the many US-AU forward shipping companies (like HopShopGo). Please note that the Nest Protect is not certified for use in Australia as it has not yet been tested to Australian standards.