While battery-powered smoke detectors are easier to install, hardwired models are far more reliable because batteries can die at any time without you knowing — and this can leave you and your family in danger.
So, if you’re looking to buy a hardwired smoke detector, you’ve made the right decision. In this post, we’d be revealing and reviewing some of the best hardwired smoke detectors on the market.
Best Hardwired Smoke Detectors: Our Top Recommendations
We understand that the market abounds with hardwired smoke detectors by different brands, and making the right choice from the heap of options can be a huge challenge. So, we decided to help you out with the sifting.
Our research team spent several hours scouring the market and comparing several hardwired smoke detectors in terms of sensitivity, reliability, durability, buyer reviews, and price. And from our initial long list of options, we kept cutting out the low performers until we were left with these top picks.
1. First Alert BRK SC701BV Hardwired Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
If you’re looking to keep your family safe from smoldering fires and invisible gases, the First Alert BRK DC701BV is a great option to consider. It features electrochemical carbon monoxide technology that detects the presence of CO in your home and a photoelectric smoke sensor for catching large particles typical of smoky, smoldering fires.
Even more, this device has a voice alarm, which experts say is more effective in waking small children than a simple tone. It is also equipped with location capabilities to let you know where the danger is originating from your home. How does this work? When setting up your device, you can assign a name to different rooms, up to 11 locations in your home so when there’s an alert, you can instantly tell where it’s coming from.
On top of the voice alert, this detector also has a powerful 85 dB siren that goes off when it picks up any danger but a single mute or silence button silences any nuisance alarms that may occur. The button may also come handy for testing all alarm functions.
This hardwired smoke detector can particularly connect to other BRK or First Alert detectors to ensure all alarms will sound when a threat is detected.
As its name indicates, the First Alert BRK SC701BV can be hardwired into your home’s electrical system so you don’t have to worry about frequent battery replacement. However, there’s a 9V battery backup in the event of a power outage and it provides an end-of-life alert when the unit needs replacing.
A major advantage of this unit is that it uses the same interconnection cable as the other models of First Alert/BRK fire alarms, so no rewiring is needed. Also, the company claims that this unit can last up to 10 years. However, many users report that the smoke detector sets itself off with false alarms after a few years of use (and in some instances, months), indicating the need for a replacement.
- Alarm is very loud
- Easy to install
- Alarm and voice alerts
- Rigorously tested to meet UL standards
- High tendency to trigger false alarms
2. First Alert SC9120B Hardwired Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector
Balancing features, reliability, and affordability, the First Alert SC9120B is a fine option. This carbon monoxide detector pulls double duty as a smoke alarm, making it one of the best on the market since those are the two huge sources of danger in any home.
Equipped with both ionization and electrochemical sensors, this device is really good at the job of detecting smoke from both slow and smoldering fired as well as fast-burning, flaming fires (and maybe the occasional burnt piece of toast.) The indicator lights on the face of the unit display the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide while an 85-decibel siren is ear-piercingly loud, serving as a clear warning of danger.
While the First Alert SC9120B might not be the fanciest smoke alarm out there, it does sport some nice features like its 10-year warranty and interconnectivity. In other words, this model can link up to 18 compatible First Alert devices such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, bells, repeaters, etc. If one triggers, all the connected units sound the warning
Furthermore, it comes with a 9-volt battery backup for continued function in the event of a power outage and you never have to worry about replacing it as it can be easily accessed when mounted. The alarm also notifies you long before it is going to die to avoid those 2 a.m. battery chirps.
This smoke detector is simple to use with a single test/silence button and universal mounting brackets as well as tamper-resistant brackets to make installation easy. Although this device can last up to 10 years, the manufacturer stands behind this smoke detector with a 10-year warranty that guarantees that you will get a replacement if it stops working.
Additionally, the SC9120B is fully certified, which means that it meets the appropriate standards for safety in the home.
- Extremely easy to install
- Low battery warning feature
- Long-lasting 10-year lithium-ion battery
- Reliable electrochemical sensor
- UL certified
- CO detector can be overly sensitive
- Some reports of false alarm
- Doesn’t last for 10 years
3. USI Electric 5304 Hardwired Ionization Smoke and Fire Alarm
In terms of affordability and functionality, the USI Electric 5304 is one of the best smoke detectors available. It is a 12-volt AC hardwired alarm that responds quickly to flaming fires and with a backup battery to ensure that it functions even when there’s a power failure.
Much like other smoke detectors on the list, the USI Electric 5304 is perfect for new or replacement installations and can be fully interconnected with all USI and Universal Combat devices using existing wiring and mounting to further add to its proficiency. Consequentially, when one of them is triggered, they all sound the alarm.
However, you don’t have to worry about locating the room where there’s a fire as this device is fitted with the company’s patented Quickfire alarm that makes it possible to identify the first alarm to ring. Also, the USI Electrical 5304 features a quick activation pull-tab and a front-loading battery drawer for easy replacement without removing the alarm from the bracket.
A direct replacement to the USI Electrical 5204, the manufacturer backs up the quality of this device with a 10-year limited warranty. An LED displays in the middle of the alarm and changes color based on the alarm’s status while the tamper-resistant lock feature secures both the alarm and battery.
A major complaint by users is that this smoke detector goes off randomly; giving false warnings which can be annoying as the chirps can are loud. The alarms sound at 85 decibels.
- Comes with a tamper-resistant feature
- 10-year limited warranty
- Easy to install
- Allows interconnectivity with 24 alarms
- Poor battery life
4. Kidde AC Hardwired Interconnect Smoke Alarm with Hush i12040
Kidde has been in the business of making devices that protect against fires and the AC powered, hardwired Kidde i12040 is one of the reliable and affordable smoke detectors from the company. It has the ability to function as a single unit or an interconnected system of up to 24 other alarms in your home so when one goes off, they all go off.
To enhance inter-connectivity, this device includes a quick connect power harness that allows for quick and easy installation. This wire-in smoke detector also has a battery-backup feature in the form of a 9-volt battery that can be used to power the alarm when wiring is not an option or when there’s an electric power outage.
The Kidde i12040 is an ionizing alarm, designed to sense fire particles. Equipped with the company’s patented Hush technology which may come handy during tests, this device allows you to temporarily turn off the alarm for up to 7 minutes after which the alarm will resume until the smoke dissipates from your home.
Going further, the Kidde i12040 has a horn alarm of 85 decibels that sounds loud enough for you to hear the warning no matter where you may be in your home. It also features an updated alarm memory condition that helps deter alarm tampering and a tamper-resistant locking pin that helps to prevent alarm theft
And to add, this smoke detector has been rigorously tested to meet UL requirements and it carries a 10-year warranty to guarantee durability. It also has a test feature that lets you easily confirm that the alarm is working as well as a system of LED lights that indicates the status of the device with red signifying normal operation and green indicating AC power.
- Easy to install
- Can link up to interconnected system of 24 devices
- A UL compliant device
- Hush feature to temporarily silence nuisance alarms
- Consumes a lot of battery juice
5. Universal Security Instruments (USI) 1204 Wire-in Smoke Alarm
The USI 1204 is another reliable device that can help protect your family and home from all fast-flaming fires. Perfect for new or replacement installations, the USI 1204 Smoke Detector has a quick response time to deadly threats and is ideal for both commercial and residential use.
Design-wise, this device features a protective cover to make it free of dust and spray contaminations so you won’t have to remove the alarm during any construction procedures. Its large mounting plate and locking feature allow for easy installation onto drywall or old ceilings. Simply remove the unit from the base, replace and twist it back on!
Moving on, this smoke and fire alarm provides a loud, clear, warning of up to 85 decibels when triggered but the convenient silencer button to temporarily quiet the alarm for a few minutes while you handle the threat. As mentioned earlier, this model is hardwired but it comes with a battery alternative so you never have to worry about power outages. The backup 9-volt battery ensures maximum protection at all times.
As far as smart-connect goes, the USI 1204 can be linked to 18 units at a time within your home so that when one alarm is activated, all connected devices will sound the warning. The LED lights indicate the status of the device with red light being for smoke detection and the green light for normal functioning. It also comes equipped with heat and humidity sensors that can help it differentiate between smoke and steam.
Because fires can double quickly, a fast detection of smoke can help protect your family in good time. This smoke detector uses an ionization smoke sensing technology that can respond to fires up to 87 percent faster than other smoke detectors. In addition to the USI 1204 being UL listed, the manufacturer stands behind this product with a 5-year limited warranty.
- Easy to install
- Great design
- Loud alarm
- 5-year limited warranty
- Some reported cases of false alarms
6. Kidde – 21026045 AC Hardwired Wireless Interconnect Smoke Detector Alarm
If you want to protect your family from fires but don’t have a lot of money to spend, the Kidde 21026045 Hardwired Smoke Detector will get the job done. There are two product variations for the Kidde 21026045. One variant uses ionizing sensors to detect invisible fire particles (associated with flaming fires), a technology that’s capable of detecting this type of danger faster than photoelectric alarms.
On the flip side, the other variant adopts photoelectric technology, which may detect visible particles (associated with smoldering fires) sooner than photoelectric smoke alarms. Many people tend to choose one of the variants over the other but experts recommend that both types should be installed for maximum security.
Nonetheless, they both come with a 9V battery backup to ensure non-stop monitoring even when there’s a power outage. Like other products from the company, this model comes with a number of cool features with one of them being that it works well with different smoke alarms.
In simpler words, the Kidde 21026045 makes it easy to expand the coverage of a current interconnected system. Simply replace one interconnected smoke alarm with the Kidde Wireless Alarm and when one device detects any danger and responds, they all give the alarm.
At 85 dB, this model can get very loud but you can quickly and temporarily silence nuisance alarms by pressing the smart touch button. But keep in mind that the wireless interconnect is compatible with only other RF-SM-DC models or with other RF-SM-ACDC when the red wire is disconnected.
Installing the Kidde 21026045 is super easy as it’s just a matter of plugging and twisting in place – if you have a more recent one in the rest of your house. You set a code before you install it so that it will work to set the same code.
- Can be interconnected to a current system
- Easy-to-access battery backup
- Silence button
- Loud 85-decibel alarm
- Drains batteries leading to frequent replacements