Smoke Detector Recall Issued Over Radio Interference Problems

About 154,000 hard-wired smoke detectors have been recalled, after the manufactured learned the devices may fail to alert building occupants of fires due to radio frequency interference, posing a delay in evacuations. 

An ESL and Interlogix smoke detector recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on August 13, due to the risk that radio frequency interference may cause the smoke detectors to fail. Although no injuries or incidents have been reported to date, this may a serious risk in locations where the hard-wired smoke detectors are installed.

According to the CPSC, the interference is typically caused by the use of handheld radios in close proximity to the fire alarms panels in ranges that were tested and proved to cause interference. Fire alarm system manufacturers put their devices through series of tests to gauge the distance that the systems will not be interfered with by radio frequencies.

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The recall includes 33 models of the 400 and 500 series Edwards (ESL)-branded and Interlogix smoke detectors that are professionally hard-wired into a security system. The recalled smoke detectors have date codes 13084 through 14059 which represent the year in the first two digits and the day of the year in the last three digits. Both the 2-wire and the 4-wire detectors are white and round and measure 6 inches across by 2 inches high.

The recalled models were designed to be professionally installed in commercial buildings, schools, hotels/motels, apartments, dormitories, and homes as part of the fire alarm system. The detectors have the initials “ESL”, the date code and one of the following model numbers printed on a label located on the white plastic housing of the detector; 429AT, 429C, 429CAD, 429CRT, 429CST, 429CT, 429CTAD, 449AT, 449C, 449CRT, 449CSRH, 449CSRT, 449CST, 449CSTE, 449CT, 449CTE and 511C, 518C, 521B, 521BXT, 521B-10PKDMP, 521B-10PKG, 521BXT-10PKG, 521BXT-DMP-10PKG, 528B, 528CRXT, 541C, 541C-10PKG, 541CXT, 541CXT-10PK and 548C.

The affected smoke detectors were manufactured China under Fyrnetics Limited where they were sold at alarm system, security equipment and electrical equipment contractors, dealers and installers for use in fire alarm systems for commercial building, hotels, apartments, dormitories, and homes from March 2013 to February 2014 for prices varying from $30 to $50. Costs for integrated alarm systems or security systems varied greatly in price.

The CPSC recommends that customers with recalled fire alarms contact their security or fire system provider immediately to determine if their units are included in the recall. Customers may obtain this information by either contacting Edwards at 800-655-4497 or Interlogix at 855-286-8889 to receive a free replacement and free installation of new smoke detectors. Customers should not remove the current smoke detectors until the replacement alarm has been professionally installed.

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