Whenever we burn something in the kitchen (which happens shamefully often), the smoke detector starts to shriek in protest. Normally, this can be fixed by waving a towel in front of it or, in dire straits, removing the battery while the air clears. But we’ve never had a detector go haywire when there wasn’t a whiff of smoke in the air.
Unfortunately for Brad Fitzpatrick — software engineer at Google and founder of LiveJournal — his Nest Protect decided his house was on fire and sounded the alarm all day. There was neither smoke nor fire, and the frustrated programmer posted a video of himself trying to silence all five of his units to no avail.
It’s especially awkward given Fitzpatrick’s employer: Google bought Nest last year for $3.2 billion. Back in April 2014, Nest pulled Protect from shelves due to a software flaw that could potentially cause the detector to “sleep” through an emergency. It went back on sale in June.
Despite working for Google, Fitzpatrick pulled no punches in his Google+ post about his malfunctioning Nest Protects. “They false alarm and are unhushable [sic] pieces of crap,” he wrote. The YouTube video shows him frantically removing all five devices, then playing some nightmarish version of Simon as he pushes the buttons and the Protects continue to say, “Can’t be hushed here.” Finally, he locks them up in a couple of coolers and shoves them in the garage.
Nest Protect does run on batteries, but he was probably a little out of sorts after all the false alarms.