3 carbon monoxide alarms fail tests

Consumer Reports calls three off-brand detectors safety risks

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - In Consumer Reports’ most recent tests of carbon monoxide alarms, three similar-looking off-brand alarms -- sold on Amazon and eBay -- failed critical performance tests. 

The Foho YJ-806, GoChange 882 LCD and NetBoat WB_H3110061 have been labeled Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.

CO alarms are designed to sound before the level of carbon monoxide in a person's bloodstream would reach a dangerous level. CR tests each carbon monoxide alarm at two CO levels.

First testing at 100 parts per million, where the alarm should sound after about 40 minutes, then at 400 parts per million, when the alarm should sound between 4 and 15 minutes. All three alarms failed some aspect of Consumer Reports testing -- either for going off too quickly, or not at all.

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

For people who already own one of the Foho, GoChange, or NetBoat ​carbon monoxide alarms, people are advised to stop using them, and replace them with one of the recommended CO alarms that do 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 they’d also removed similar-looking models CR 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 CR’s 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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