Carbon Monoxide Alarms Pose Safety Risk

In Consumer Reports' most recent tests of carbon monoxide alarms, three similar-looking off-brand alarms – the Foho YJ-806, the GoChange 882 LCD and the NetBoat WB_H3110061 – sold on Amazon and eBay, failed critical performance tests and have been labeled "Don’t Buy: Safety Risk."

Carbon monoxide alarms are designed to sound before the level of carbon monoxide in a person's bloodstream would reach a dangerous level.

"We test each carbon monoxide alarm at two CO levels. First we test at 100 parts per million, where the alarm should sound after about 40 minutes. Then we test at 400 parts per million, when the alarm should sound between four and 15 minutes," according to Consumer Reports engineer Bernie Deitrick.

All three alarms failed some aspect of Consumer Reports testing – either for going off too quickly or not at all.

Also important, the three failed alarms do not have a UL certification, a mark given to all CO alarms that meet a voluntary industry safety standard.

If you already own one of the Foho, GoChange or NetBoat carbon monoxide alarms, Consumer Reports advises that you stop using them and replace them with a recommended CO alarm that does meet the UL certifications, such as the top-rated First Alert CO615, a standalone alarm, or the First Alert OneLink SCO501CN, an interconnected alarm that syncs with multiple alarms in your home.

After being contacted by Consumer Reports, Amazon said the two products that failed the tests were no longer available for sale, and that they’d also removed similar-looking models Consumer Reports pointed out that did not list a UL certification. Amazon also said it will work with consumers who may have purchased these alarms under the terms of its return policy.

EBay responded that based on Consumer Reports' report, they had removed the specific carbon monoxide alarm listing from the seller and requested the seller contact any buyers who may have purchased these alarms.

Consumer Reports is unaware of any injuries related to these products.

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