Smoke alarms aren’t exactly cutting-edge technology. They’ve been around for a very long time and the systems that allow them to detect smoke — whether they use ionization or photoelectric technology — is relatively mundane. You buy them in packs and stick them all over your house and assume they’ll work because, well, they almost always do. They’re just that simple. Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of a million smoke and smoke/carbon monoxide combination detectors are now recalled because they just don’t detect smoke like they’re supposed to, and that means they won’t alert you when a fire breaks out.
In a new recall bulletin posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Company Inc. announces the recall of Kidde-branded smoke alarms and smoke/carbon monoxide combination alarms that sold from between $10 and $70. The hazard risk for these units is described as follows: “The smoke alarm and the combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm can fail to alert consumers to a fire.”
The smoke alarms that are subject to recall have a variety of model numbers. The various units detect either smoke or smoke in combination with carbon monoxide, and there are a total of seven different models included in the recall:
This recall involves Kidde TruSense Smoke Alarms and Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms. The recalled units are Kidde Model Series 2040, 2050, 2060 and 2070 Smoke and Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarms. Only alarms with the TruSense logo or “AMBER=FAULT” printed on the front of the alarm are included in this recall.
The smoke alarms were sold at a number of different retailers including Walmart, Home Depot, Menards, and other stores as well as online. They were available on Amazon.com and the company’s own website, ShopKidde.com.
The company is offering free replacements for the defective alarms but says that after the request is made for new alarms, the old alarms should remain in place until the new ones arrive. Apparently, there’s still a chance that the smoke alarms might work, so it’s best to leave them up until the replacements show up and can be installed.
Here’s the contact info from the recall bulletin:
Kidde toll-free at 844-796-9972 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday or onlineat http://www.kiddetsalarmrecall.rsvpcomm.com or http://www.kidde.com and click on “Support” and then “Product Alerts” for more information.
Obviously, if you have one of these smoke alarms in your home you should follow the company’s directions and request a replacement as soon as possible. If you have spare smoke alarms it’s probably a good idea to replace them right away while you wait for the new ones to arrive. You might even want to go pick up new ones right away, since having a home unprotected by smoke alarms is never a good idea.