Troubleshoot false smoke alarms or when the app says "there is a problem with the smoke sensor"

If Google Nest Protect sounds a smoke alarm when there is no smoke, or if it chirps and your Nest app says there’s a sensor failure, then it needs your attention.

In some cases, this occurs because dust got into the smoke chamber or steam has set it off. Dusting your Nest Protect and placing it away from any sources of steam can solve the issue.

Here are signs that dust may have made it into the smoke chamber:

  • The Nest app says “There is a problem with the smoke sensor.”
  • Nest Protect chirps continuously (one chirp per minute).
  • With Nightly Promise, Nest Protect will have a yellow ring. It will also sound a Heads-Up alert that says “Heads-Up. The sensors have failed in the [name of room]. Replace Nest Protect now."
  • When you press Nest Protect’s button, the light ring will turn yellow and Nest Protect will tell you that the sensors have failed.
  • Nest Protect sounds an Emergency Alarm saying there’s smoke, even though there isn’t.

Learn about Nightly Promise

app protect smoke sensor failure

 

All photoelectric smoke alarms can be impacted by dust. So it’s important to keep your Nest Protect free of dust during the installation process and to clean it if dust is building up.

Nest takes steps during the manufacturing process to ensure that your Nest Protect remains dust-free. We also package it with a dust cap to keep dust out during the shipping process.

However, dust can get into your Nest Protect in several ways.

For example, removing the old smoke alarm during installation can stir up dust. This is especially true with wired Protects which have wires running through the wall or ceiling.

Dust can also accumulate on your Nest Protect over time, like it can on your furniture and other appliances in your home.

Nest Protect dust cap removal

Fix and prevent false smoke alarms

Dust Nest Protect

Nest Protect constantly monitors its sensors, to ensure that they’re working properly. So if dust interferes with the smoke sensor, Nest Protect can let you know. But it’s still important to keep an eye out for dust build-up to help keep your Nest Protect clean and working properly.

If your Nest Protect sounds a smoke alarm when there is no smoke, or if it chirps and your Nest app says there’s a sensor failure, you’ll want to give it a thorough dusting, and see if that solves the problem. You can find out how to dust your Nest Protect in our How to keep your Nest products clean article.

If the problem persists, please contact Nest Support.

Place Nest Protect away from sources of steam

Steam can also trigger false alarms in many smoke alarms. Common household sources of steam include showers and humidifiers. So if you’ve experienced a false alarm and your Nest Protect is placed near a source of steam, this may be the cause.

To help lower the number of false alarms caused by steam, Nest developed Steam Check. Steam Check helps Nest Protect tell the difference between steam-related events and real fire or smoke events.

While Steam Check helps Nest Protect distinguish between steam and smoke, but it won't stop all steam-related alarms. If Nest Protect observes steam that appears similar to real smoke or fire, the alarm will sound.

Steam Check helps lower the number of false alarms caused by steam or high humidity, but the best way to eliminate steam-related false alarms completely is to move Nest Protect away from sources of steam like bathrooms and home humidifiers.

Learn more about Steam Check

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