The combined features allow consumers to not only have a traditional
alarm clock next to their beds, but also have the added protection of a
CO alarm. This alarm device inside the clock-radio senses elevated levels
of CO in the room and sounds an audible signal to alert sleepers to the
potential poisoning risk. The audible alarm is especially important to sleepers,
as CO is a poisonous gas that has no taste or smell - and kills more than
250 people in the United States alone every year, many of them in their
beds. The device offers consumers a product design intended to complement
their primary CO alarms.
Since this is a new combination of products, UL's engineers faced some
different challenges in their evaluation. The product had to meet the requirements
of two UL Standards, UL 2034 (effective Oct. 1, 1998), Single- and Multiple-Station
Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and UL 1270, Radio Receivers, Audio Systems, and
Accessories - two investigations in one. "Each of the investigations
was fairly straightforward and in accordance with the two Standards involved,"
said Lisa Mills, UL Engineering Services, "but since this is a life-safety
device, we had to make sure that the radio didn't interfere with the CO
alarm, and that the detector's 85-decibel audible signal would override
the sound of the clock's alarm or the radio being played full blast."
The idea for this dual-purpose product came from Patrick Hung, the president
of Patrick Plastics, the producer of the clock-radio/CO alarm. "Mr.
Hung knew from existing data that CO is most dangerous while you're asleep
and also that most people have radio-alarms in their bedrooms," said
James Chan, vice president of Engineering at Patrick. "He determined
we could offer consumers a product they use every day that could also save
their lives. We're planning to market the product in North America in the
very near future, and eventually hope to generate interest in Europe."
The product is manufactured in China by Patrick Plastics, and sold under
the brand name S-TECH. And, as a part of UL's Multiple Listing Service,
it is also sold under the brand name GE.
For more information about this new dual-purpose product, call one of
UL's client advisors in Northbrook, Ill., at (847) 272-8800, ext. 42396;
fax (847) 509-6220; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.