I'm living in an apartment building and would like to upgrade one of two detectors in my apartment from an older hardwired detector to the new Nest Protect.

I purchased the battery-operated version of the Nest, and so would like to unplug the existing hardwired one. The wire harness appears to have positive, ground, and an interconnected wire, but the interconnected one is cut and doesn't go anywhere.

Does this mean there is no communication with a central alarm? Or will I potentially trigger a central alarm in my building by disconnecting it?

  • Since your Nest is battery powered, why not leave the existing building smoke detector in place? That will help protect you against a dead battery, and having an extra smoke detector can't hurt unless you suffer from a lot of false alarms. Some leases may prohibit tampering with existing smoke alarms. – Johnny Dec 4 '13 at 5:48
  • I do suffer from a lot of false alarms unfortunately...one of the main reasons for the upgrade. – Ryan Dec 4 '13 at 6:28
  • Jurisdiction? Model # or detailed photo of existing alarm? – Bryce Dec 4 '13 at 9:18
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    You might want to have words with the landlord - I don't know the codes, but if your alarm (and your alarm alone) has been severed from the building's central, then that says something is already very wrong. Have you tried to get the landlord to fix the thing? – Michael Kohne Dec 4 '13 at 11:33
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about manipulating fire safety devices in a multi-dwelling building that is not owned by the OP. – Tester101 Dec 4 '13 at 11:38

There is unfortunately only one right answer to this question: don't mess with the landlord's property. In the USA at least the landlord is responsible for the alarm, and your touching it creates liability problems all around.

Beyond that, a typical central alarm for commercial properties uses a completely different signaling mechanism (you want to alert the central station but NOT the other apartments). The nest simply does not play in that world, yet.

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