• Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020  1
  • Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020  2
  • Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020  3
  • Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020  4
  • Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020  5

Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK 2020

For most people, a smoke alarm is just an annoying white box that makes a racket when they burn their toast, but you should be thankful if you fall into that category. It's a sobering fact that hundreds of people die in the UK each year due to house fires, and sadly, more than half of these could have been prevented if the residents were alerted by a smoke alarm and vacated from the house in time. 


There is no excuse for not fitting your property with smoke alarms; they will provide the essential protection you need with minimal fuss. Our buying guide will help you work out what to look out for, including advice on battery and mains powered units, carbon monoxide detector combinations, and which devices are best for kitchens. Then, we'll go through our top ten smoke alarms available online from Kidde, FireAngel, and the linkable Google Nest. 

  • Last updated: 24-12-2020
  • 3,532 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Smoke Alarm in the UK – Buying Guide

To get the maximum level of protection in your home, with the minimum of inconvenience from false alarms, it's essential to choose the right smoke alarm or combination of smoke alarms to keep you and your property safe. Here, we're going to run through the most important factors to weigh up.

Choose the Correct Type of Smoke Alarm for the Right Location in Your Home

Each of the different types of smoke alarms on the market has different characteristics that can make them more well-suited to certain parts of your house or flat. We'll now look at each type, in turn, to help you decide. 

Ionisation Smoke Alarms Are the Most Basic and Not Suitable Near Kitchens

Ionisation Smoke Alarms Are the Most Basic and Not Suitable Near Kitchens

Ionisation smoke alarms are probably what most of us picture of when we think of a smoke alarm. They are cheap, basic, and extremely sensitive to small smoke particles, meaning they're excellent at detecting fast flaming fires, but a pain in the neck if you're in the habit of overcooking things.


As such, this type of fire alarm is best placed well away from the kitchen or any other area where fumes or smoke accumulate. They are, however, ideal for bedrooms and living rooms, provided they are well away from the kitchen.

Optical Smoke Alarms Cost More but Are Less Over-Sensitive

Optical Smoke Alarms Cost More but Are Less Over-Sensitive

If you need to place a smoke alarm near, but not in, a kitchen, then an optical smoke alarm is a good option. They detect larger particles of smoke than ionisation types, so are less likely to be set off by accidental cooking disasters.


Optical smoke alarms are better at picking up on smouldering, slow-burning fires, and are a great choice for bedrooms and living rooms. For a full belt and braces approach, they could be alternated with ionisation alarms throughout the house.

Heat Sensitive Alarms Are Perfect for Kitchens

Heat Sensitive Alarms Are Perfect for Kitchens

Strictly speaking, heat alarms aren't actually smoke alarms. The sensors in heat alarms don't detect the fumes given off by a fire, but rather the sudden rise in temperature that would signal danger. This means that heat alarms are suitable for kitchens, and also garages, where car fumes might trigger a normal alarm.


However, heat alarms need to be relatively near the fire to pick up on this change in temperature, so for bigger kitchens, you might want to consider more than one alarm. But given that most house fires start in the kitchen, these are a type of smoke alarm you really can't do without.

Decide Between a Built-In or Replaceable Battery

All the smoke alarms in our list are battery-powered as opposed to mains powered, meaning they're much easier to install. There are two types of batteries used in smoke alarms - replaceable batteries and sealed batteries.

Alarms With 9 Volt or AA Batteries Need Replacing Yearly

Alarms With 9 Volt or AA Batteries Need Replacing Yearly

The most basic and common type of battery used in cheaper alarms is a standard 9 volt or AA battery. These can be bought anywhere for very little money and can be replaced simply by opening a flap on the smoke alarm and swapping them over.


Smoke alarms with this type of battery should be tested regularly, and the batteries should be replaced every 12 months. This means you'll need to remember to regularly buy batteries, but the smoke alarm itself will not need to be replaced unless it is damaged.

Sealed Batteries Last Longer but You'll Need to Buy a New Alarm Each Time

Sealed batteries are fitted directly to the alarm and cannot be replaced, meaning that when the battery dies, the whole alarm needs to be changed. On the plus side, the maximum lifespan of these batteries is respectably long, as many are sold to last up to 10 years.


If the thought of a decade without hearing any annoying battery warning noises and worrying about when you last changed the batteries appeals to you, then these are the alarms for you. And while you may be reluctant to have to buy a new smoke alarm every 10 years, in models with carbon monoxide detection this will be necessary anyway, as this is the lifespan of their sensors. 

Consider a Built-In Carbon Monoxide Detector for Added Peace of Mind

Consider a Built-In Carbon Monoxide Detector for Added Peace of Mind

While less of a killer than fire, carbon monoxide poisoning is still responsible for dozens of deaths every year. It's caused by inhaling odourless fumes that can accumulate in your home from a number of sources, such as faulty boilers or gas fires.


It's therefore highly recommended that you have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home, ideally in or near the bedrooms where there is more risk from inhalation while sleeping. 


Combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are perfect for obtaining both types of protection in one convenient unit. But their sensitivity to the gas does not last forever, so you should pay particular attention to the manufacturer's recommended life span for the device.

A Linkable Alarm May be Preferable For Larger Properties

If there's a chance a smoke alarm going off downstairs won't wake you while you sleep, then you should really think about getting a series of alarms that can be linked up as a network. This means that if one device senses smoke, all the linked alarms in your home will go off.


Linkable alarms connect with each other either via radio signals or via your home wifi. Some more advanced models can even connect with other devices such as burglar alarms to create a full home security network, so may be worth considering if you have a large property. 

Top 10 Best Smoke Alarms in the UK

Having looked at the key things to consider when buying a smoke alarm, let's now turn to our selection of the top ten smoke alarms to buy online in the UK.

10

First AlertCompact Optical Smoke Alarm

SA700

£18.87

TypeOptical
BatteryReplaceable AAA
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
9
TypeOptical
BatterySealed, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
8
TypeOptical
BatteryReplaceable, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
7

X-SenseSmoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm With Display

£29.99

TypeOptical
BatterySealed, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmYes
LinkableNo
6
TypeOptical
BatteryReplaceable AA
Carbon Monoxide AlarmYes
LinkableNo
5
TypeHeat
BatterySealed, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
4

First AlertOptical Smoke Alarm

SA720CE

£22.99

TypeOptical
BatteryReplaceable 9V
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
3
TypeOptical
BatterySealed, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableNo
2

FireAngelRadio-Interlink Smoke Alarm

WST-630Q

£30.49

TypeOptical
BatterySealed, 10 year lifespan
Carbon Monoxide AlarmNo
LinkableYes
1
TypeOptical and heat
BatteryReplaceable AA
Carbon Monoxide AlarmYes
LinkableYes

Compare the Best Smoke Alarms

Image
1
Google Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm 1

Google

2
FireAngel Radio-Interlink Smoke Alarm 1

FireAngel

3
Jalo Kupu Optical Smoke Alarm 1

Jalo

4
First Alert Optical Smoke Alarm 1

First Alert

5
FireAngel Heat Alarm 1

FireAngel

6
Kidde Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm 1

Kidde

7
X-Sense Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm With Display 1

X-Sense

8
ForLife Mini Smoke Alarm 1

ForLife

9
Jalo Lento Optical Smoke Alarm 1

Jalo

10
First Alert Compact Optical Smoke Alarm 1

First Alert

Name

Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Radio-Interlink Smoke Alarm

Kupu Optical Smoke Alarm

Optical Smoke Alarm

Heat Alarm

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm With Display

Mini Smoke Alarm

Lento Optical Smoke Alarm

Compact Optical Smoke Alarm

Features

Hi-Tech Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm With Full Connectivity

An Optical Alarm With a Connectivity Option

Add a Pop of Colour to Your Home as Well as an Extra Level of Security

For Night-Time Alerts There's an Escape Light

Heat-Sensitive Alarm Great for Kitchens and Garages

Built-in Voice Alerts For Extra Peace of Mind

Extra Safety With a Built-in Carbon Monoxide Detector and Handy Display

Super-Compact, Barely Noticeable Optical Alarm

An Eye-Catching Alternative to the White Box

A Basic Optical Alarm With Hush Button

Price£109.00£30.49£29.96£22.99£13.50£19.99£29.99£10.99£34.95£18.87
TypeOptical and heatOpticalOpticalOpticalHeatOpticalOpticalOpticalOpticalOptical
BatteryReplaceable AASealed, 10 year lifespanSealed, 10 year lifespanReplaceable 9VSealed, 10 year lifespan Replaceable AASealed, 10 year lifespanReplaceable, 10 year lifespanSealed, 10 year lifespanReplaceable AAA
Carbon Monoxide AlarmYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNo
LinkableYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Link

Know How Many and Where You Should Place Your Alarms

Know How Many and Where You Should Place Your Alarms

Now you've chosen your alarm, you may be wondering how many you'll need, and where to put them. For maximum peace of mind and protection, you should ensure you have an adequate amount of alarms, and that they are placed in the best possible location.


As an absolute minimum, there should be one smoke alarm for each floor of your home, but seeing as fires can start anywhere, it's strongly recommended that you have an alarm in every room and every passageway. Smoke alarms should not be placed in the bathroom, however, as the steam created by hot water can too easily set them off. 


In terms of placement, you want to try and make sure that your smoke alarms are as close as possible to the centre of the room, and at least 30 cm from walls and light fittings. Wherever they are placed, you must be able to hear the alarm from all parts of your home.

Need a Hand Finding Other Home Essentials?

Need a Hand Finding Other Home Essentials?

Not done kitting out your home with the essentials? Check out our related buying guides for plenty more ideas and recommendations from us. 

Summary

So that was our pick of the top ten smoke alarms to buy online in the UK. We hope you've found an alarm or a combination of alarms that will bring you peace of mind and keep you safe.

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