Is there a good cigarette smoke detector with WiFi or memory?

15 Replies

I would appreciate any recommendation for a cigarette smoke detector that either can be checked remotely by WiFi or that has a memory function.  I have a tenant in one of my units in a nonsmoking building who is smoking.  I am remote, however; my contractor doing the rehab can't smell; and the property manager is not on site.  So we have no PROOF she is smoking.  I need to install some sort of smoke detector that will pick up cigarette smoke and will alert the property manager when someone smokes in the unit.  Can anyone recommend such a detector?

@Maura O'Connor , it won't matter.  I hate smokers, and the biggest reason is they're selfish.  Even with that monitor it won't stop them from smoking inside the house.  Also, they will bring in the chemicals anyways.

Your best option is having somebody do an onsite inspection.  If they can smell it, write them a notice.  If it happens again, evict them for breach of contract.  They'll deny they ever smoked in there and you aren't able to put cameras in there either.

You can get nicotine test kits for the walls super cheap....and I guess pay your PM to to perform them.

but unless the tenant gets scared or doesn't call your bluff... Good luck enforcing it without an eviction.

Happy to evict if necessary.  My building is nonsmoking for the reasons other folks have alluded to above.  However, I don't want to evict tenant B if tenant A on the same floor is smoking in his/her unit.  An onsite inspection/test for nicotine might be effective, but I'm looking for a detector recommendation.  While a tenant might just rip out a detector, that would give me grounds to evict.  Without some evidence, eviction may not work.  So, again, while I appreciate all the thoughts, what I'm looking for is a recommendation for a smoke detector that detects cigarette smoke and either transmits a notice by WiFi or keeps a record that can be used to support an eviction.

What's wrong with a field test for nicotine? Or I guess how's that so diffent than your remote monitoring solution?

Have your PM do a site inspection, apply test if it smells like smoke and off you go.

Or if you must...but if I wasn't a tenant not sure I'd want some random peice of equipment connected to my WiFi...

https://www.freshairsensor.com...

Either way a smart tenant would just say it wasn't them regardless of what method you use and probably even if you caught them in the act. They'll probably threaten to sue etc etc and it could very likely cause a lot of headache to defend.



 Other tenants are complaining, and there are some other factors, which is why I have been seeking a recommendation.

Matt K., thank you for the only recommendation received that actually answered my question.  I will look into that detector.  I appreciate very much your taking time to answer the question I asked.

Don't know if this really works or not, but it seems to fit what you are asking for.  It's hardwired, so it can't be disabled easily (unless they turn the breaker off), it can be fitted with a tamper proof cage, and it can play custom messages "YOU HAVE BEEN CAUGHT SMOKING, OUR STAFF HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED, YOU HAVE 2 HOURS TO PACK YOUR BAGS!!!".

http://www.smokersensor.com/

A nicotine test from the wall has it's problems too.  A tenant intent on cheating would just question the method and application on it's use.  They would either claim whatever you detected on the wall was there before they moved in, something left by the last tenant.  Unless you completely repainted the walls and ceilings, and replaced all carpets and draperies. they will just say it's not from them unless you can show an identical test result claiming that spot tested negative when they moved in.

Or, they will just say they did smoke, outside the building, at work, or in their vehicles.  They didn't violate the non smoking clause, but the stuff clings to their clothing and hair.  So they may have leaned on the walls, sat on the floor and transferred things when they did so.  Is there any rules against leaning on a wall?

I see someone intentionally cheating and denying he/she smoked a difficult thing to pin down.  May be more likely to also ask neighbors who complained to help with the enforcement.

Catching a smoker inside is tough to prove. The good news is - if you're certain they're smoking inside they're probably an idiot and have ignored other rules that could be easier to prove. 

Though there's a decent chance if they're smoking in the unit there's an ashtray - any time someone does work in the unit, tell them to be on the lookout for an ashtray and if they see it, to take a photo. 

@Maura O'Connor   In regards to using the Wi-Fi in your tenant’s rental unit, why not set up and control the property Wi-Fi yourself?  

Controlling the Wi-Fi in your rentals provides many advantages to a landlord. It does take time and effort to set up your own Wi-Fi Single Family or Multi-Family Wi-Fi system, but if properly set up, the system can thereafter save a landlord time and effort in multiple ways. A landlord-controlled Wi-Fi system can also become another source of revenue for the landlord by adding a small ser-charge to the landlord's actual costs (Especially useful in Multi-family buildings or rent by room housing).

It is also possible that Landlord controlled Wi-Fi can saving money for tenants. A knowledgeable landlord can often find and/or negotiate a better month to month price for unlimited broadband internet service, while saving each new tenant the cost, hassle and interim downtime of acquiring new service.

The advantages of controlling your own Wi-Fi, in addition to monitoring smoking, are the ability to control and record property access via Wi-Fi controlled and Wi-Fi programmable entry locks and gate and driveways monitors. Control of the property Wi-Fi also permits recording security cameras outside the building (and inside common halls, storage areas etc.). You can set the timing of outside yard, perimeter and building lights. Control of your Wi-Fi enables the landlord to create a direct audio and/or video intercom from your cell phone to any location on the property (similar to or with a ring doorbell). You can receive automatic notice when an unusual number of people are on the property (https://www.partysquasher.com ). You can know and record when, for how long, and how much energy is used by the house heating system. You can automatically warn you tenants when their cooking is to smoky and when CO2 levels are rising. You know, receive notice, and automatically record every time a house smoke or CO2 alarm goes off. (https://nest.com/ )

You can also set up a network attached storage device to create tenant accessible files for your property manual, appliance manuals, how to manuals (for septic systems, wood stoves, property photos, tenant lease documents contact numbers, neighbor information, shopping info, utility info etc.) -files that you can update, change, add or delete from anywhere; and you can monitor in real time the power consumption of the entire property $50 to $350 plus install costs (https://www.postscapes.com/Wi-Fi-home-energy-monitor-neurio/ ) ( https://www.bluelineinnovations.com/ ). One whole house energy monitor can identify, record and report in real time the energy consumption of pretty much any electrical device on the property $300 +installation (https://sense.com/ ) ( https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/home/smart-home/wiser/wiser-app/ ). For example with the Sense energy monitor, a landlord can tell when, if ever, and for how long, a vacuum or carpet cleaner is used, when a garbage disposal, water heater, well or septic pump runs. When the home is occupied or when it is vacant. When, if ever, almost any electrical device is used (It does take some training/set up of the software app.

Alternatively, it is possible to separately monitor and accurately record in real time each individual circuits on the Property $1400 ( https://shop.dentinstruments.com/products/powerscout-12-multi-circuit-power-submeter?src=sidebar ), and or to monitor the electrical consumption of any individual appliance, outlet or switch $20+ (https://www.topgreener.com/ ).

It is also possible to use Wi-Fi to automatically and remotely turn your rental property water on/off, to monitor your properties for leaks, frozen pipes, to submeter and record water and or gas usage and know if there is a leak even before your tenants know $70 to $300 ( https://www.phyn.com/
https://getpani.com/
https://www.honeywellhome.com/en/products/water-alarms
https://try.flumetech.com/smart-home-water-monitor/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/azapps/osiris-the-65-smart-water-monitor
https://meetflo.com/
https://www.flumetech.com/

Wi-Fi Gas Meters, https://waviot.com/iot/solutions/smart-metering/smart-gas-metering
https://www.ekmmetering.com/collections/gas-meters
https://www.flonidan.com/products-and-solutions/smart-gas-meters

In my view, there are a lot of advantages to Landlord controlling and sub billing the Wi-Fi system in his/her rental units. Knowing when someone is smoking on the property is just one.

how much is your security deposit?

worst case scenario, you wait till the end and do smoke remediation and bill her the whole thing.

if other tenants are complaining about smoke, and they are certain she is smoking, she's violating the lease contract.

Maybe ask the other tenants if they can take a photo catching her in the act. Then evict.

@Maura O'Connor -  There's no disgusing cigarette smoke.  It's either there or it isn't.  This is one of the reasons why monthly/quarterly property inspections are necessary.  Catch them, cite them for violating the lease, and then evict them if they continue.

Originally posted by @Davido Davido :

@Maura O'Connor   In regards to using the Wi-Fi in your tenant’s rental unit, why not set up and control the property Wi-Fi yourself?  

Controlling the Wi-Fi in your rentals provides many advantages to a landlord. It does take time and effort to set up your own Wi-Fi Single Family or Multi-Family Wi-Fi system, but if properly set up, the system can thereafter save a landlord time and effort in multiple ways. A landlord-controlled Wi-Fi system can also become another source of revenue for the landlord by adding a small ser-charge to the landlord's actual costs (Especially useful in Multi-family buildings or rent by room housing).

It is also possible that Landlord controlled Wi-Fi can saving money for tenants. A knowledgeable landlord can often find and/or negotiate a better month to month price for unlimited broadband internet service, while saving each new tenant the cost, hassle and interim downtime of acquiring new service.

The advantages of controlling your own Wi-Fi, in addition to monitoring smoking, are the ability to control and record property access via Wi-Fi controlled and Wi-Fi programmable entry locks and gate and driveways monitors. Control of the property Wi-Fi also permits recording security cameras outside the building (and inside common halls, storage areas etc.). You can set the timing of outside yard, perimeter and building lights. Control of your Wi-Fi enables the landlord to create a direct audio and/or video intercom from your cell phone to any location on the property (similar to or with a ring doorbell). You can receive automatic notice when an unusual number of people are on the property (https://www.partysquasher.com ). You can know and record when, for how long, and how much energy is used by the house heating system. You can automatically warn you tenants when their cooking is to smoky and when CO2 levels are rising. You know, receive notice, and automatically record every time a house smoke or CO2 alarm goes off. (https://nest.com/ )

You can also set up a network attached storage device to create tenant accessible files for your property manual, appliance manuals, how to manuals (for septic systems, wood stoves, property photos, tenant lease documents contact numbers, neighbor information, shopping info, utility info etc.) -files that you can update, change, add or delete from anywhere; and you can monitor in real time the power consumption of the entire property $50 to $350 plus install costs (https://www.postscapes.com/Wi-Fi-home-energy-monitor-neurio/ ) ( https://www.bluelineinnovations.com/ ). One whole house energy monitor can identify, record and report in real time the energy consumption of pretty much any electrical device on the property $300 +installation (https://sense.com/ ) ( https://www.schneider-electric.us/en/home/smart-home/wiser/wiser-app/ ). For example with the Sense energy monitor, a landlord can tell when, if ever, and for how long, a vacuum or carpet cleaner is used, when a garbage disposal, water heater, well or septic pump runs. When the home is occupied or when it is vacant. When, if ever, almost any electrical device is used (It does take some training/set up of the software app.

Alternatively, it is possible to separately monitor and accurately record in real time each individual circuits on the Property $1400 ( https://shop.dentinstruments.com/products/powerscout-12-multi-circuit-power-submeter?src=sidebar ), and or to monitor the electrical consumption of any individual appliance, outlet or switch $20+ (https://www.topgreener.com/ ).

It is also possible to use Wi-Fi to automatically and remotely turn your rental property water on/off, to monitor your properties for leaks, frozen pipes, to submeter and record water and or gas usage and know if there is a leak even before your tenants know $70 to $300 ( https://www.phyn.com/
https://getpani.com/
https://www.honeywellhome.com/en/products/water-alarms
https://try.flumetech.com/smart-home-water-monitor/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/azapps/osiris-the-65-smart-water-monitor
https://meetflo.com/
https://www.flumetech.com/

Wi-Fi Gas Meters, https://waviot.com/iot/solutions/smart-metering/smart-gas-metering
https://www.ekmmetering.com/collections/gas-meters
https://www.flonidan.com/products-and-solutions/smart-gas-meters

In my view, there are a lot of advantages to Landlord controlling and sub billing the Wi-Fi system in his/her rental units. Knowing when someone is smoking on the property is just one.

 All of this is one power outage from being a major headache ... And now your an IT person vs a landlord.

Im sure it makes sense, probably in a more hands on type rental like short term rentals...but for most landlords it's overkill.  

I want as few things in my name for my rentals, let the tenant be responsible. Reason being when something goes wrong and it will...they can call the service provider and not me.