Smoke alarms

We tested 20 models to see which respond fastest to smoke.

Smoke alarm on ceiling

Cavius

CAV10

worth considering

70

Avg price

$50

Member Reviews

    Test results

    • 65
      Ease of use

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    How we test

    Overall score is based on smouldering and flaming fire sensitivity.

    Good” or “OK” meant the alarm sounded quickly enough to alert you to danger.
    Poor” meant the alarm took significantly longer to sound.
    Extreme” sensitivity meant the alarm sounded so quickly they are more likely to issue false alarms.

    Ease of use includes instructions and ease of installation.

    See "About our test" for more information.

    Noise is measured in a quiet room 3m from the alarm.

    Price is from a March 2018 price survey.

    More test results

    • Smouldering fire sensitivity

      Good

    • Flaming fire sensitivity

      OK

    Model

    • Avg price

      $50

    • Alarm type

      Photoelectric

    • Noise (dBA)

      95

    • Battery type

      Sealed lithium

    • Size

      Mini

    Features

    • Battery life (years)

      10

    • Alarm life (years)

      10

    • Warranty (yrs)

      5

    • Hush period (min)

      10

    • Carbon monoxide alarm

    • Alarms can be linked

    • Voice alerts

    More info

    • Notes

      -

    • Availability

      -

    Member reviews

    6 Member reviews

    Keith

    Pros

    It is loud, will alert the heaviest sleeper

    Cons

    '10 Year' battery lasted 4 years and 5 months

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Keith

    Used 6 months or more

    Reliability of the batteries questionable

    Pros

    Small and inconspicuous and easy to install

    Cons

    I purchased 9 of these Cavius 10yr units and installed in rental properties and holiday home about 2 years ago. Three units have since failed. 1 gave occasional false alarms and was replaced same brand and fine after that. Two more recently have had battery failures and had to be replaced. Starting to loose confidence they will last the distance.

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Geoff H.

    Used 6 months or more

    Battery doesn’t last 10 years

    Pros

    Small and unseen

    Cons

    We installed 5 of these is our house which we have owned for 5 years. So far 2 of the 5 have a low battery beep.

    Recommend it?

    No, this product has too many drawbacks.

    Dd M.

    Used 6 months or more

    Small, loud, but only somewhat reliable.

    Pros

    It's small size makes it inconspicuous. This can be good in rental properties where some tenants with a habit of burning toast take down alarms as a 'precaution' against false alarms - they don't know it is an alarm, so keep it on the ceiling. Their good looks make it great for high spec homes. Alarm is loud and piercing - great for waking you up, not so great for testing!

    Cons

    The unfamiliar size and shape can lead to some false accusations that the landlord hasn't provided alarms. The side test button is unexpected, so some tenants don't test these themselves (I recommend landlords check alarms every 6 months or less). If you don't have it properly clipped into the bracket the alarm won't work, so make sure you test it after installation. Cavius did a recall of some batches, if one fails check if it was from this run. They do fail before 10 years, I've had several in both my own home and rentals that haven't lasted more than 3 years before beeping 'flat'.

    Recommend it?

    Maybe, it depends on what you're after.

    Jackie

    Used 6 months or more

    Small and great quality

    Pros

    - Small and aesthetically appealing
    - battery lasts for 10 odd years
    - doesn’t give false positives like many of the cheaper ones
    - easy to install

    Cons

    - pricey, but I figured with cost of batteries over 10 years for a cheaper one it evens out

    Recommend it?

    Yes, I recommend this product.

    Jimy

    Used 6 months or more

    Great smoke alarm in a small package

    Pros

    Size and now one battery for life - 10 years. I have the original ones where battery lasts 5 years, now on second battery.

    Cons

    Costs more but worth it.

    Recommend it?

    Yes, I recommend this product.

    Ray M.

    Used 6 months or more