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Check your carbon monoxide alarm: 8,000 2-in-1 alarms recalled

The recalled alarms might not go off when carbon monoxide levels become hazardous.

BETHESDA, Md. — If you have a carbon monoxide and smoke alarm made by Universal Security Instruments or USI ELECTRIC, check the product information on the back. It may be part of a recall. 

According to a Thursday recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 8,000 detectors made by the company could fail to alert you to hazardous carbon monoxide levels. 

The recall only affects two models and manufacturing date codes of Universal Security Instruments' 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarms, CPSC said: 

  • Model MPC322S has 10-year sealed batteries. The manufacturing date code is 2017JUN09. 
  • Model MPC122S is a hardwired alarm with 10-year sealed battery backup. The manufacturing date code is 2017JUN02.

The models were sold from June 2017 through December 2019. Due to their long battery life, many could still be in use. According to CPSC, they could be found for $50-$80 at electrical distributors nationwide and online at Walmart.com. 

Affected alarms will have "Universal Security Instruments" or "USI ELECTRIC" printed on the front above “Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide Alarm.”  The model number and date code are printed on the back of the alarms. The company has a guide on its website for checking your alarm.

Credit: Consumer Product Safety Commission
One of the 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide Alarms affected by the recall.

If you have one of the recalled alarms, CPSC said you should contact Universal Security Instruments right away for a free replacement. Keep using your current alarm until you have a replacement. 

Why are the alarms being recalled?

According to CPSC, Universal Security Instruments received two reports of products that didn't "alarm for the presence of carbon monoxide within the specified time requirement." No injuries were reported.

What is carbon monoxide? 

Carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is an odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal. It's found in the fumes produced when you burn fuel, whether that's in a car, a stove or a fireplace. 

The CDC says everyone is at risk for CO poisonings, but infants, the elderly and people with some conditions are more likely to get sick. More than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires each year. 

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