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Nest Tried to save my family's life last night, but unfortunately it was just a false alarm.


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Stashed in: Google FAIL, Nest, Net of Things

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It did succeed in keeping me from rolling over and going back to sleep.   Both alarms went straight to full on emergency mode, no verbal pre-warning.  The voice told me that there was smoke detected at the upstairs one.  The family got out--we've got our fire and earthquake drills down to a science with the kids and they did well.   When the alarm first went off, my first thought was Carbon Monoxide as it clearly wasn't smoky, so I took a big huge breath and held it before venturing out in the hallway.  Luckily it told me it was smoke, not carbon monoxide. 

The only problem after that was that there was no smoke.  The overnight temp was high 60's.  We do get Santa Ana winds coming in from the deserts.  The only other thing I can think of is that I got an IFTTT pollen alert for 9.00 which is the highest I've ever seen it.  I'm guessing a sudden rush of warmer air through an open window and change in temperature, the high pollen might have caused the issue.  

The bad parts?  Even after I had checked the house and attic for fire or even smoke, there was no way to turn the alarm off.   After it stopped, it started again all over 5 minutes later. 

The only other thing I could think of is that I found some damaged electrical wire in the attic that had been scheduled to be replaced today where a rat had started to chew on it.  It's my fondest hope that the Nest fire detectors weren't actually false-alarming and had detected a "Christmas Vacation" Griswald'd rat, but if it did get burned, I couldn't find it.

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christmas vacation

So... Not yet ready for prime time?

I'm not sure. They advertise the "green light promise" that when you turn the light out and it glows green you'll never have to replace the battery or get woken up by chirping or false alarms, so having a "real alarm" where nothing happened was a little disturbing.  The only reason my wife called the fire department (thank goodness they didn't come with the sirens) is that a house just a block over last week had a two alarm fire started by an electrical fire, so even though I felt confident there was no threat (and couldn't turn it off) she needed the additional reassurance from some hunky authority figures.  (sheesh!)

I think it needs a little more learning.....

IFTTT (if Pollen Count > 8.8 AND Nighttime temperature is X AND a local window is open AND it gets a gust of temperature X+Y) then Tell NEST device to be a little more discriminating. 

Speaking of which, I wonder if Google is going to buy IFTTT next?

Maybe. If IFTTT can fix its bugs then Maybe Google will buy them.

IFF their backend is server-side javascript, God help them. 

Amen.

I don't need to steenkin service.  I'm a rodenator ratpocalypse embodied in all four horsemen when it comes to rats.   I'm a regular Rat Will Graham and understand how their little rat brains work. 

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