To all the men and women who have served our country through crisis, including assisting during the COVID-19 pandemic, we salute you!

Memorial Day. Back in March when we were talking about this pandemic, we would have never thought we’d reach this point. Time flew by, for better or worse, and the unofficial beginning of summer is here. Some of you have had a chance to tackle projects, while others have not.

As I was checking my list of projects, one thing I didn’t have on the list was to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I have had to replace one or two over the past few years and looking back, they were nearly 15 years old! The average life span of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is 8-10 years. Many recommend replacing after 7. Off to Amazon I went. My smoke alarms are all hard wired so they were an easy purchase. I ended up purchasing a 6 pack and a few singles at (Amazon)[]. I also wanted to tie into my Ring system. I’ve had Ring for about 18 months and really like the direction it’s going. Sure there are little things that annoy me about their system, but it’s getting much better with every release. So, I found a First Alert 2-in-1 Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Z-Wave support.

First Alert Smoke/CO Z-Wave Alarm

At a price point of under $40, it’s hard to beat. You could also get a Z-Wave Smoke Alarm as well, but since the price point is only a couple of dollars different, I figured it was worth it as these alarms are replacing failed alarms in my garage and room above my garage.

Ring supports several Z-Wave devices. They have an article at ([] that explains the Z-Wave network and how to extend the network for better reach. In my case, since my Z-Wave devices are on the other side of a firewall, I placed an extender nearby.