The red arrow in this CPSC photo points to the counterfeit UL label.

CPSC Warns Atlantans of Fake Smoke Alarms

The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department delivered about 18,500 of them but now is recalling them, according to the agency.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an alert May 27 asking consumers in the Atlanta area to check their homes for counterfeit smoke alarms. About 18,500 counterfeit photoelectric smoke alarms were distributed free in the Atlanta area between 2006 through May 2011 as part of the Atlanta Smoke Alarm Program, but testing shows they are not reliable.

The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department distributed them but now is recalling the units and working to provide free smoke alarm inspections and replacement units, according to CPSC. Consumers who received them should contact the Atlanta Smoke Alarm Recall Hotline at 404-546-2733.M/p>

The agency said the counterfeit alarms can be identified by a silver Underwriters Laboratories' UL label on the back and three sets of vented slots on the front. "The UL label is counterfeit. The alarms do not have a model number or brand name printed on them," the alert states. " 'Important: Refer to Manual for Operating Instruction and Safety' and 'Do Not Paint' are stamped into the plastic on the front of the alarm in both English and German. The package states, 'This Smoke Alarm save [sic] life and property by early warning!' Claims that smoke alarms can 'save property' are not typical claims for smoke alarms. The packaging states, '10 YEAR LIFE LITHIUM BATTERY,' but the battery included with the smoke alarm is a carbon zinc, industrial, heavy duty battery, which will power the alarm for only one year."

CPSC said its independent testing showed these alarms "perform poorly and inconsistently and do not meet voluntary standards requirements in Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) 217, Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarms and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72, Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. The smoke alarms' sensitivity settings varied greatly between the alarms tested. Some alarms did not respond within an adequate time for life safety and other alarms did not respond at all."

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