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Failing smoke detectors put consumers at risk of injury or death

When consumers purchase items at the store, they generally expect that the products they purchase will work as claimed on the packaging and have been adequately tested for safety and performance. When the product in question is a safety critical device, like a smoke detector, the lives of the consumer and the lives of the people they love depend on the performance of the product.

Sadly, companies often fail to uphold rigorous standards when it comes to manufacturing, parts testing and product safety. They may test one batch of a critical component, leaving their company open to potential failures in the future. Other times, they may not carefully examine each product before it get packaged and shipped for sale to consumers. Cutting corners in that fashion could put consumers at unnecessary risk.

Recent recall highlights the need for consumer protections

As of March 21, 2018, Kidde Brand has recalled about 452,000 smoke detectors sold in the United States, as well as another 40,000 sold in Canada. A mistake during production resulted in potential product failure. Specifically, a yellow cap that someone should have taken out during manufacturing remains in place in many of the affected models. This cap may cover one of the two sensors that work to detect smoke, leaving the device vulnerable to failure when people need it the most.

The affected devices were dual-sensor smoke alarms featuring both photoelectric and ionization detectors. The model numbers are PI2010 and PI9010. These units were sold at The Home Depot, Menards, Walmart and similar stores, as well as the Kidde website and Amazon.com. Units purchased between September 2016 and January 2018, which cost between $20 and $40 may require replacement for consumer safety.

No reports of injury or death related to this failure yet

When a safety-critical device, like a smoke detector, fails, it can place consumers at extreme risk. Smoke detectors can help wake people sleeping in a home where a fire has broken out. If the device cannot detect smoke, it cannot raise the alarm. That leaves consumers at risk of remaining asleep, potentially incurring injuries such as smoke inhalation or severe burns.

Thankfully, in this case, there have been no reports yet of fire-related injuries caused by these defective smoke alarms. Consumers with a potentially affected unit can visually inspect the detectors for the yellow cap. However, they should not dismantle the devices or try to remove the cap themselves. Instead, they should contact the manufacturer to receive a free replacement as soon as possible.

When products fail, consumers often pay the price. Filing a liability lawsuit may be the best way to remedy the situation. Not only will that allow injured consumers to recoup their financial losses, it will also remind the company in question that cutting corners when it comes to product performance and safety can cost a lot more money in the long run.

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