The Best Cigarette Smoke Detectors to Protect Your Vacation Rental

Discover the top three cigarette smoke detectors for keeping your short-term rental properties safe from costly damage.
Minut News
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October 18, 2023
min read
The Best Cigarette Smoke Detectors to Protect Your Vacation Rental

Just one incident can be enough to motivate you to invest in a cigarette smoke detector. Even the friendliest of guests could end up smoking in a living room or bedroom, resulting in you having to pay for a costly deep clean and absorb a loss in revenue because of downtime. 

Without the right tool, it can be hard to monitor if guests are smoking, especially because traditional smoke alarms don’t often pick up on cigarette smoke. Plus, you need a way to prove that guests have been smoking in the case of a dispute where they don’t want to pay your additional cleaning fee. 

Cigarette smoke sensors are the solution to this problem, which is why this article walks you through the best cigarette smoke detectors for vacation rental hosts and property managers. We also touch on: 

  • How to choose the right smoke detector
  • Installation and maintenance tips
  • Regulations regarding smoke detectors in short-term rentals
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3 top cigarette smoke detectors for vacation rentals and Airbnb

The best way to detect cigarette smoke in your vacation rentals is by utilizing the latest smart home technology tools. Here are the top three cigarette smoke detectors for short-term rentals. We’ll give you an overview of each solution and will go over what features they offer, battery information, and pricing. 

1. Minut

The Minut sensor is highly sensitive to cigarette smoke, meaning no false alarms from burnt toast or incense smoke. That’s because the sensor’s cigarette detection system is powered by machine learning, so it gathers real-world data and continuously learns from it. 

The device’s real-time precision means that as soon as cigarette smoke is detected in one of your units, you’ll get a push notification within the Minut app. This allows you to address the issue as quickly as possible and minimize damage. 

Plus, you get access to a historical log of data, so you can review information about any smoking events that have occurred in the past. This protects you in the event of a guest dispute and helps you avoid renting to problematic guests again in the future.

On top of cigarette detection, the Minut device monitors noise and occupancy levels, tracks temperature and humidity, and serves as a home alarm system, among other features. At Minut, we pride ourselves on protecting guest privacy, meaning the device never records conversations or stores any personal data. 

Finally, you can rest assured knowing the device won’t fail you, as it’s tamper-safe and has a battery life of about a year. That means you can just set it and forget it—all you have to do is track property information and alerts on your mobile device or desktop dashboard. 

Cigarette detection alert on Minut app
Minut alerts you of any cigarette smoke detection right within the Minut app.


Battery specs

The Minut sensor’s battery can last for up to a year with a single charge. And, since charging the device only takes one to four hours, you can easily get the sensor back up to full charge during a turnover. 

Pricing information

Minut has three pricing plans available to users: 

  • Standard ($10/month/home, billed yearly) gives you all the core features, plus guest communication, unlimited data history, and up to five team members. 
  • Pro ($15/month/home, billed yearly) comes with all the Standard features, plus integrations, Zapier automation, API access, and up to 20 team members. 
  • If you have 20+ properties, you can reach out to the sales team for a custom quote. You’ll get tiered volume pricing, a customer success manager, and free migration. 
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2. WYND Sentry

WYND Sentry is a dual-sensor smoking and noise detector built for both short-term rentals and hotels. The device is capable of detecting cigarette, marijuana, and vape smoke, and monitors noise decibel levels at your properties. 

The device sends you instant alerts when smoke is detected in your unit, meaning you can immediately address the issue. It’s also equipped with tamper detection and alerts, and provides incident reports for any smoking or noise events that take place. 

WYND Sentry device with live data dashboard
You can track noise levels and cigarette smoke activity with WYND Sentry. Source


  • Cigarette, marijuana, and vaping detection
  • Noise monitoring
  • Tamper detection
  • Alerts via push notifications
  • Incident reporting

Battery specs

When unplugged, the WYND Sentry tamper protection battery backup lasts around 48 hours. Otherwise, it has to be plugged into a power source via a USB-C cable. 

Pricing information

The WYND website states that pricing for the Sentry monitor starts at $15/month/home, billed yearly as $180/year/home. WYND requires a minimum one-year subscription. 

3. FreshAir

The FreshAir Sensor was designed for both hotels and vacation rentals, and it detects tobacco and marijuana smoke. The sensor covers an area of up to 500 square feet, connecting to WiFi via a cloud-based platform. 

When a smoking event happens, you immediately get alerted via email, computer desktop, and/or mobile push notification. Plus, you can access timestamped charts to record smoking events in the case of a guest dispute.

FreshAir dashboard on desktop and mobile
FreshAir lets you monitor cigarette activity on mobile or desktop. Source


  • Cigarette and marijuana detection
  • Tamper-proof hardware
  • Real-time alerts
  • Incident reporting

Battery specs

The FreshAir Sensor has to be plugged into a North American (Type B) outlet or hardwired into a ceiling or wall. 

Pricing information

There is no explicit pricing information available on the FreshAir website, but according to the savings calculator, the sensor costs $12/month/home. You can also contact a sales rep for more detailed pricing information. 

How to choose the right smoke detector

When making your choice of cigarette smoke detector, here are the features and characteristics you should look out for: 

  • Highly sensitive cigarette detection
  • Historical log of smoking events
  • Tamper detection to ensure your device is always enabled
  • Long battery life
  • 100% privacy-safe device
  • Real-time alerts and push notifications
  • All-in-one solution with other protection features like noise and occupancy monitoring, mold risk detection, and a motion-activated security alarm
Minut dashboard showing noise monitoring, battery level, crowd detection, security alarm
The Minut dashboard lets you track multiple security risks, like noise levels and crowd detection, across all your properties, in one place.

Installation and maintenance tips

Once you choose a sensor, you want to make sure you get the most out of it. Follow these tips for installation and maintenance so you can effectively prevent smoking in your units:

  • Choose the right location for installation. Follow your device’s setup instructions to ensure you install it in the right place. For example, we recommend installing your Minut sensor on the ceiling in the area guests are most likely to gather, like the living room or kitchen.
  • Reach out for assistance if you need help when installing. If you have any doubts when setting up your cigarette smoke detector, it’s best to reach out for assistance. For example, you can contact the Minut support team if you have any questions while installing your device. 
  • Recharge or replace the battery as suggested by your device. Follow your device’s specific instructions for how often to charge the battery or get a new one.
  • Set up integrations with your other software. To make the most of your device, connect it with the other tools you use to run your vacation rental business. Minut, for example, integrates with Airbnb, Zapier, and over 20 property management systems.
Minut sensor on ceiling with cigarette smoke
We recommend you install your Minut sensor on the ceiling in a high-traffic area of your property.

Regulations regarding smoke detectors in short-term rentals

When it comes to traditional fire alarms, we suggest you install them in your unit to ensure guest and home safety. Actual regulations regarding smoke alarms depend on where your property is located, so be sure to inform yourself of the local laws where you operate your short-term rental. 

Airbnb highly recommends hosts install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their units, even offering eligible hosts a free smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. But when it comes to cigarette smoke detectors, whether or not you choose to install one is up to you. 

Just know that many booking platforms, like Airbnb, require you to disclose to guests if you use a noise monitoring sensor or similar devices. Therefore, if you use an all-in-one device like the Minut sensor, which comes with features like noise and occupancy monitoring in addition to cigarette smoke detection, you should disclose to your guests that you’re using the device. 

You can include a paragraph like the following example in your listing to inform potential guests that your unit is equipped with a Minut sensor: 

“This home is equipped with a device that monitors the environment inside the property (including noise levels, temperature, motion, and cigarette smoke) to ensure guests have a safe and pleasant stay."

Check out our guest welcome letter to get some ideas on how you can explain your Minut device to your guests. 

Host with confidence by using the best cigarette smoke detector

Whether you’ve already had an issue with guests smoking in your unit or are trying to be proactive in protecting your properties, a cigarette smoke detector is a smart investment that saves stress, time, cleaning, and downtime. All the tools we recommended are specifically designed for detecting cigarette smoke, will alert you of smoke activity, and keep a record of all your smoking events. 

But to get the most out of your solution, you want to choose a robust device like the Minut sensor. In addition to cigarette smoke detection, it comes with other features that protect your properties, from noise monitoring to window break detection. So whether you’re fully booked year-round or vacant during a long off-season, you can rest assured that your units are safe.

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Frequently asked questions about cigarette smoke detectors

Do I need a specific smoke detector for cigarette smoke in vacation rentals?

A traditional smoke alarm is a fire safety device, and it won’t likely pick up on cigarette smoke. So if you run a vacation rental, you need a cigarette smoke detector that alerts you when guests are smoking in your unit, helping you prevent costly damage. 

Are there smoke detectors that can detect both cigarette smoke and fires?

While some traditional fire alarms can detect cigarette smoke, their ability to do so depends on the sensitivity of the sensor and the placement of the device. Many types of smoke detectors are specifically to detect flaming fires and smoldering fires and don’t often pick up on cigarette smoke. 

That’s why it’s so important for vacation rental property managers and hosts to use smart home technology for vacation rentals specifically designed to detect cigarette smoke particles, like the Minut sensor. 

How often should smoke detectors be replaced in rental properties?

Traditional smoke alarms in vacation rental properties typically have a lifespan of eight to ten years. Some smoke detectors have recommended replacement or expiry dates, which you should pay close attention to. Additionally, you should check the batteries in your smoke detector every six months. Some smoke detectors, however, have a 10-year battery life (if they’re using a 9V lithium battery). 

When it comes to cigarette smoke detectors, it depends on the device you’re using. The Minut sensor, for example, just needs to be charged about once a year.