Universal Security Instruments has recalled a total of 8,000 detectors after it was found that the company’s combination smoke and CO detector models failed to sound the alarm when the carbon monoxide in its surroundings was at dangerously high levels. You might also know the brand as USI Electric in Massachusetts.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely hazardous and not always easy to detect without proper equipment. In the case of the USI detectors, unfortunately, users who thought they were safe from such a serious household danger were in fact potentially vulnerable due to this defective product.
The two models of detectors impacted by this recall are the MPC322S and the MPC122S. Thankfully, there haven’t been any injuries or other types of incidents that have resulted from these defective products. This recall specifically impacts these two detector models that fall within a certain range of manufacturing date codes.
You can’t detect CO on your own
Because of the lack of odor or color in carbon monoxide, it’s very difficult if not impossible to tell if you’re being exposed to dangerously high levels of CO if your detector isn’t working properly. Some of the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, weakness, confusion, shortness of breath and, in the most extreme cases, loss of consciousness.
The issue with the MPC122S detector model, which was discovered through testing, is that it fails to alarm when the CO in the air has risen to dangerous levels. This product is intended to be a combination smoke and CO detector, saving users from having to buy two separate devices to keep their family safe.
For anyone who currently has one of these products in their home, besides knowing that the detector may not be enough to protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning, you should also be aware that USI can send you a free replacement. Whether it’s the MIC1509S or MIC3510SB that you get, it’s a comfort to know that both of these detectors have undergone heavy scrutiny and passed all tests.