Three Carbon Monoxide Alarms Labeled Safety Risks by Consumer Reports
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Three Carbon Monoxide Alarms Labeled Safety Risks by Consumer Reports

The off-brand alarms failed crucial performance tests and lacked UL certification

March 16, 2017

Consumer Reports (CR) has rated three carbon monoxide alarms "Don't Buy: Safety Risk" because they failed critical performance tests and did not have the proper UL certification.

The alarms look similar to each other and are all off-brand. They were each bought from an online retailer.

The affected alarms include the following:

  • NetBoat WB_H3110061 LCD Portable Security Gas CO Carbon Poisoning Monitor (Amazon)
  • Foho YJ-806 LCD Portable Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Monitor Alarm (Amazon)
  • GoChange 882 LCD Portable Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Monitor Alarm (eBay)

It is estimated that 148 people on average die every year in the U.S. from being exposed accidentally to carbon monoxide produced by products such as gas furnaces and ranges. It is key that carbon monoxide alarms work properly because they are a crucial line of defense against accidental poisoning.

CR is not aware of any death or injuries connected to any of the three affected alarm models.

When tested, both the GoChange and the NetBoat alarms did not sound when they were exposed to carbon monoxide at a concentration of 100 parts per million. At that level of exposure, alarms should sound within 40 to 165 minutes.

The GoChange alarm also failed to sound when it was exposed to concentrations of 400 parts per million, a level at which alarms should sound within four to 15 million. Although the NetBoat model did sound at this level, it did so too quickly—after an average of 30 seconds rather within than the recommended timeframe.

The Foho model went off too quickly at both levels of exposure: 15 minutes on average at the lower level and 1.5 minutes at the higher level.

CR has informed the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as Amazon and eBay, of its findings.

Consumers should know that, although these products should no longer be available for purchase on Amazon and eBay, they might still be available on other sites. Anyone planning to purchase an alarm should make sure that the product they plan to buy is not one of the affected items.