Kidde smoke alarms are failing at the only job they have — detecting smoke. Nearly half a million of these alarms sold in the United States (and several thousand more in Canada), are now being recalled after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that the devices are not particularly adept at completing their purported tasks.
As per a notice published earlier this week, “A yellow cap left on during the manufacturing process can cover one of the two smoke sensors.” This impedes the smoke alarm’s ability to actually determine when there is smoke in the air, posing quite the risk to users by not alerting them to the presence of a fire.
In total, around 452,000 of these smoke detectors were sold in the U.S., and 40,000 were sold in Canada. Both the PI2010 and PI9010 models are affected by the recall. These alarms have been on the market since September 2016, and were sold by a number of home and hardware stores including Menards, Home Depot, and Walmart, and also online at Amazon, ShopKidde.com, and other e-commerce purveyors.
In order to determine whether or not your alarm is faulty, the Commission is asking customers to remove your unit from the wall or ceiling and give it a visual inspection through the opening on the side of the alarm. If you see a yellow cap, your alarm is likely faulty. But don’t go trying to fix things yourself — customers are instructed not to take apart the alarm, open the casing, or attempt to remove the yellow cap themselves.
Instead, should you find one of these tell-tale yellow objects, reach out to Kidde immediately to receive instructions on how to request a free replacement smoke alarm. Once you receive and install your new detector, you should discard the recalled alarm immediately.
Luckily, Kidde has not yet received any reports of incidents or injuries as a result of the cap being left on — quite impressive considering that nearly 500,000 such alarms are spread out across the U.S. and Canada. But don’t take any chances — if you find that your alarm is indeed defective, reach out to Kidde as soon as possible. You can call the company toll-free at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, or online at the company website.