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Urgent recall alert: These smoke & carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced now

Handyman installing a smoke detector on the ceiling.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a simple but critical purpose. They have to quickly detect those two life-threatening components that might quietly fill the air so that you can get to safety. But people who own Universal Security Instruments smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should know there’s a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector recall that was recently announced.

You should inspect your smoke detectors to ensure they’re not included in the recall. The faulty units might fail to alert you of hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. As a result, there’s a serious risk of poisoning or even death.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detector recall

Universal Security Instruments recently announced the smoke and carbon monoxide detector recall. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted the full recall report at this link.

The recall involves two Universal Security Instruments 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarm models. You should be on the lookout for two date codes, as follows:

  • Model MPC322S (with 10-year sealed batteries and manufacturing code) – 2017JUN09
  • Model MPC122S (hardwired alarm with 10-year sealed battery backup) – manufacturing code: 2017JUN02

The products have “UNIVERSAL SECURITY INSTRUMENTS, INC.” or “USI ELECTRIC” printed on the front. You’ll also find the product name there. It’ll be listed as “Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide Alarm,” as seen in the image below. The model numbers and dates are printed on the back.

Front of recalled hardwired USI Electric 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarm Model MPC122S with a manufacturing date code of 2017JUN02.
The USI Electric 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarm. Image source: Universal Security Instruments via CPSC

Universal Security Instruments sold about 8,000 units nationwide between June 2017 and December 2019.

The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the recall were available nationwide from various retailers, including Walmart. They cost between $50 and $80.

USI issued the recall after receiving two reports of units that failed to sound an alarm despite the presence of carbon monoxide within the specified time requirement. There are no reports of injuries at this time.

What you should do

The recall announcement explains that faulty smoke and carbon monoxide detectors pose a risk of poisoning. Moreover, carbon monoxide inhalation can lead to death.

There’s no way to detect the gas without a special device. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. That’s why you need sensors to warn you immediately of potential air contamination.

If you own one of the two smoke detectors from the recall, you shouldn’t stop using them until you receive replacements.

This goes against the typical advice found in recall announcements. Companies normally urge customers to stop using a faulty product. However, disabling your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is risky. You should only do it when you swap it for a new unit.

Back of recalled hardwired USI Electric 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarm Model MPC122S with a manufacturing date code of 2017JUN02.
The back of USI Electric 2-in-1 Photoelectric Smoke & Fire + Carbon Monoxide alarm. Image source: Universal Security Instruments via CPSC

The good news is that you won’t have to pay for a new one unless you want to switch to a new brand. Universal Security Instruments instructs owners to reach out immediately so they can get a free replacement for the faulty models. That’s the only remedy for the recall. You shouldn’t try to repair the defective smoke detectors yourself.

Finally, you should check out the complete recall announcement. You’ll find contact information for Universal Security Instruments and additional information from the CPSC at this link.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.