New "Smart" Smoke Alarm Technology Answers TODAY Show Concerns

The first new smoke alarm technology in more than 30 years responds quickly to both kinds of fires and reduces nuisance alarms

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - In response to this morning's TODAY show segment on the dangers of delayed warnings from current smoke alarms, Universal Security Instruments reminds consumers about the new IoPhic smoke and fire alarm with patented microprocessor technology. IoPhic smoke and fire alarms are very effective at detecting fast flaming fires and also respond very quickly to slow smoldering fires- up to 87% faster*** than the maximum allowable alarm limit.

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According to the National Fire Protection Association, nuisance alarms or "false" alarms, are the leading cause for intentionally disabled smoke alarms in America. Unfortunately, each fire season also brings reports of serious injuries and deaths, and roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in houses with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms*. A recent study from the University of Maryland's School of Fire Protection Engineering** shows that consumers now have a better choice when it comes to reducing nuisance alarms in their home. The new, patented IoPhic® smoke and fire alarm from Universal Security Instruments using smart microprocessor technology was proven to be more resistant to false or nuisance alarms than competitors.

"As an expert in fire engineering, I can say that disabling smoke alarms after a nuisance incidence is a very serious problem and can lead to extremely dangerous situations for families. The best solution to protect your family is to purchase a smoke alarm that adapts to many situations and only sounds in the case of a fire," says Dr. James Milke, professor and chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland. "The study we conducted tested 10 different smoke alarm technologies and the IoPhic was found to be an improvement in smoke alarm technology."

Understanding that you cannot predict the type of fire you may have in your home or when it will occur, Universal Security Instruments launched the IoPhic line to help protect families from fires as well as prevent nuisance alarms. Whether it is a fast flaming fire that spreads quickly or a slow smoldering fire that can burn for hours before bursting into flame, installing IoPhic smoke alarms ensures maximum detection of both types of fires from a single alarm. Using patented Universal Smoke Sensing Technology(TM), the breakthrough microprocessor is the first new smoke alarm technology to launch in thirty years and is ideal for every room in the home.

"It's extremely common for people to disable their alarms due to a nuisance source such as cooking smoke or steam from the shower," says Greg Boggs, President of the African American Firefighter's and Paramedic's League of Chicago. "In fact, we see a lot of deadly situations in homes with no working smoke alarms. This proves that having a disabled smoke alarm is as potentially dangerous as not having one."

IoPhic patented microprocessor technology contains an algorithm that allows the alarm to differentiate between everyday cooking smoke, steam and, most importantly, real fires. IoPhic smoke and fire alarms are available at in both 9V battery and 120V hard wire versions.

To educate families and raise awareness of the dangers of smoke alarm nuisances, and how to best protect their families from both fast flaming and slow smoldering fires, Universal Security Instruments is launching the website next week, which will offer tips, expert advice and videos on fire and home safety. Universal Security Instruments can also be found at

Universal Security Instruments, Inc. is a U.S. based company and distributes safety and security products. Founded in 1969, the company has an over 40-year heritage of developing innovative and easy-to-install products, including smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and natural gas alarms.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Betsi Schumacher at or 312-257-3034.


**The study was completed by the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD) with the sponsorship of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships(MIPS) and Universal Security Instruments.

***UL217 Smoldering Smoke Test on 5/26/10, Underwriters Laboratories, Project #09CA38078


Universal Security Instruments, Inc.

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