Universal Smoke Alarm Raises Concerns As State Fire Marshal Discontinues Distribution

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey warned fire departments and residents across North Carolina today about concerns relating to Universal smoke alarms.

The current issue with Universal smoke alarms had come to the attention of the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) as a result of reports from fire chiefs and the diligence of the professionals and volunteers installing the alarms.

OSFM regularly partners with local communities and fire departments to ensure residents have fully functional and operational smoke detectors installed. The smoke alarms are provided through a program paid for by the Fire-Safe Cigarette Act for fire prevention and smoke alarm promotion – which has led to over 21,000 smoke alarms being installed and resulted directly in eight saves in North Carolina.

“Smoke alarms are your first line of protection in the case of a fire and it is entirely too important to risk your life and property on a faulty product,” said Causey. “I am extremely proud of the great work of the folks who work these canvassing events and happy we continue to protect people inside their homes with properly operating smoke alarms.”

Assistant State Fire Marshal Brian Taylor reports that OSFM is in the process of replacing this product with another smoke alarm and has reported the product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The CPSC has collected samples of the alarms and will be conducting an investigation. If anyone has any information about their personal experience with these alarms to share, please contact consumer product safety investigator Eric Toussaint at 202-329-0184 or email him at [email protected].

The Office of State Fire Marshal strongly recommends that fire departments across North Carolina discontinue installing this product until the investigation is complete.