Usi 1208 Problems

May 25, 2000
Release # 00-115
Universal Recall Hotline: (800) 390-4321
CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

May 25, 2000 CPSC, Universal Security Instruments Announce Recall of Smoke Alarms. WASHINGTON, D.C. In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Universal Security Instruments Inc., of Owings Mills, Md., is voluntarily recalling about 34,000 smoke alarms. USI makes the most innovative home protection solutions available today. Since our founding in 1969, we’ve become one of the largest manufacturers of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the world. We explaining some common reasons and solutions for Smoke Detectors which beep or exhibit nuisance alarm conditions.

CPSC, Universal Security Instruments Announce Recall of Smoke Alarms

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Universal Security Instruments Inc., of Owings Mills, Md., is voluntarily recalling about 34,000 smoke alarms. The smoke alarms can fail to alarm when smoke or fire is present. A capacitor in the alarm can burn out, releasing smoke and melting the cover.
Universal has received three reports of alarms failing, releasing smoke. There has been one report of minor smoke damage to the wall of a mobile home. No injuries have been reported.
Consumers can identify the recalled models by removing the alarm cover from its base and looking for the manufacture date code and model number. The smoke alarms are made of white plastic and have the manufacture date code and model number imprinted on the back of the alarm.

BrandModel NumberDescriptionDate Code
Safe T AlertSA-785AC only unitBCSR
UniversalSS-785AC unit onlyBCSR
UniversalSS-795AC/DC unit w/ battery backupBESS
USI ElectricUSI-1203AC/DC unit w/ battery backupBESS

Some alarms do not have the brand name printed on the unit. Consumers should look at the model number to determine if it is a recalled alarm.
Electrical distributors, housing suppliers, and hardware stores sold these smoke alarms nationwide from April 1998 through June 1999 for between $10 and $15. Most of these smoke alarms were pre-installed in homes during construction.
Consumers should call Universal Security Instruments Inc. toll- free at (800) 390-4321 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday to receive a free, replacement alarm.

About the U.S. CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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Usi Electric

More than 1,900 customers were without power after historically cold temperatures hit McHenry County on Wednesday, a ComEd spokesperson said.

More than 600 outages were reported in the city of McHenry alone, and more than 100 outages were reported in the Bull Valley area, according to ComEd’s outage map and city officials.

Most areas had power restored by 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

McHenry County remained under a wind chill warning Wednesday morning. The temperature was minus 25 degrees about 8:15 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. It climbed to about 15 degrees below zero Wednesday afternoon.

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ComEd spokesman John Schoen said most of the outages were a result of the cold temperatures or windy conditions Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

In the Chicago suburbs, representatives observed tree branches hitting power lines, downed transformers and rolling outages, he said.

“The cold is uncomfortable and really not safe, and we’re doing everything we can to get the power up,” Schoen said.

In response, city officials opened City Hall, 333 S. Green St., as a 24-hour warming center.

McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett posted on Facebook that the McHenry Downtown Theater, 1208 N. Green St., and the McHenry Police Department,
333 S. Green St., also would be available Wednesday as warming centers.

Jett said the theater was opened to give children and families a more comfortable space to warm up, but it only would serve as a warming center until power was restored. The police department, which is part of the McHenry Municipal Center, will be a 24-hour shelter.


“It’s great to see the community come together,” Jett said.

Barbara Papisan lives out of her car and splits her time between Public Action to Deliver Shelter organizations in McHenry and Lake counties.

After finding out about City Hall’s availability as a warming center, she said she was grateful to the police and city staff for providing a place she could seek shelter.

“It’s really been a godsend,” Papisan said.

Had she not known about the warming centers in McHenry, Papisan said, she probably would have tried to stay in an area Walmart, which isn’t always a guarantee.

Because of electrical problems, Route 120’s eastbound lane at Crystal Lake Road and westbound lane at Borden Street were blocked for several hours Wednesday, according to a Nixle alert from McHenry police.

Motorists were advised to use alternate routes. One eastbound lane of Route 120 reopened about 11:30 a.m., police said.

“McHenry police and fire departments, along with ComEd, are working on an electrical issue in the area. ComEd is aware power is out in several areas; however, please still report your outage directly to ComEd for their accurate tracking,” McHenry police said in the alert. “If you have to travel this area, please use an alternate route.”

There were 140 customers affected by power outages near Bull Valley, according to ComEd’s outage map. Power was expected to be restored by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Crystal Lake police said in an alert sent about 6:35 a.m. Wednesday that drivers should avoid Walkup Avenue from Route 176 to Woodstock Street for railroad crossing repairs. The road was reopened Wednesday afternoon.

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