Siemens recalls audible fire alarm bases

Recall is result of potential problems with audible fire alarm bases, but no incidents or injuries reported
 - 
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.— Siemens Building Technologies, based here, is recalling about 9,000 audible fire alarm bases because they can fail to sound an alarm, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Sept. 18.

The name of the product is the SBGA-34 Audible Fire Alarm Base, typically used in commercial facilities, not homes, company spokeswoman Allison Britt said in an email interview. It “is part of a professionally installed fire alarm system, not a self-contained product that can be purchased by a consumer,” she said.

No injuries or incidents have been reported, according to the CPSC. Still, Siemens is urging installers and end users to return the product, for which the company will provide a replacement, Britt said. The process for doing that is included in the recall announcement, she noted. Siemens’ branch offices and value-added partners will handle the replacement, she said.

The SBGA-34 product was sold at Siemens sales offices, authorized distributors and installers nationwide from February 2013 through June 2014 for about $120. Britt said the alarm base is identifiable by a data code printed on it, which also is described in the recall notice.

The audible alarm base is attached to ceiling-mounted smoke detectors in order to sound an alarm when the fire alarm system is activated.

However, the hazard it poses is that the “fire alarm base can fail to sound an alarm, posing a risk of personal injury and property damage,” the CPSC said.

What causes the alarm not to sound? Britt said, “This can occur on heavily loaded loops (many addressable field devices and audible bases on the same loop) due to a power up timing issue.” She noted that it was Siemens that detected the problem. “This was identified through our own proactive quality product testing,” she said.

The base under recall is used with four models of smoke detectors: Desigo, Faraday, H-Series and Cerberus, the CPSC said.

It is manufactured in China by Beijing Siemens Cerberus Electronics and is imported by Siemens Building Technologies, whose parent company is Germany-based Siemens AG.

Anyone who has one of the audible fire alarm bases should immediately contact Siemens to schedule a free inspection and replacement, the company said. The company also said it is directly contacting known owners.