USI IoPhic Smoke & Fire Alarm

Oooh, an off-brand discount smoke alarm! That sounds like a GREAT idea.

smokin’ deal!

How about running a set of those AR wireless speakers?

Please note that this does NOT have both ionic and photoelectric sensors as the name “IoPhic” would suggest. It is an ionic detector that has circuitry to filter out false alarms and react faster to smouldering fires, like a photoelectric detector. I don’t know how well the circuitry works, but I’m pretty sure it is nowhere as good as having a dual sensor detector.

ON the plus side, it is well constructed and easy to dismount (to clean) and the battery compartment is accessible without dismounting. It even comes with a 9V battery.

It’s actually not an off-brand. The IoPHic technology, for example, is exclusive to them. I can’t imagine an off-brand having an R&D team to develop an exclusive circuit and chip. If you look in the unit, you’ll see an IC chip (microprocessor) developed just for this smoke detector. In fact, it has 28 pins which hints at its sophistication.

The technology even has two patents: #D627671 ans #7893825

got these the last time they showed up on woot. of note: THEY DO NOT DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN COOKING AND BURNING. I don’t think I’m that bad of a cook, but a simple toasting set it off…

Of note, the instructions are also top rate, which is often not the case in cheaper brands (which are often foreign). Also, it has a 10 year warranty which is more than many major brands (generally-speaking, the Americium in ionization sensors are expended within 7 years so I’m somewhat skeptical about the 10 year warranty).

Do you know if shower steam will set it off? It claims that it won’t, and that would make it a vast improvement over my current alarm.

Not really an off-brand. Look it up. This company makes consumer and contractor products. Check out

According to Patentbuddy, the manufacturer (Universal Security Instruments, Inc) owns 23 patents, so I wouldn’t exactly call them “off-brand.” An the fact that they custom-designed a microprocessor just for the IoPhic technology means that they don’t just file patents, but actually put them into practice. That doesn’t prove, of course, that IoPhic technology is any good, although they reference an independent test showing its advantages.;jsessionid=D04B9E6FFA913C3B4280BF42688D0971

Does this look like the same one? $19.53 at amazon.

amazon link

I’m ashamed to say that I have 3 of them but have yet to mount or test them. The company does claim two reasons why it will ignore steam. 1) The custom micorprocessor knows the difference between smoke and steam; 2) It has “temperature and humidity compensattion.”

My guess is that it will ignore steam for the simple reason that ionization sensors react to actual particles of smoke, not steam. Photoelectric sensors, however, react to any blockage (or is it scattering?) of light, whether it be from steam, smoke, dust or your finger. Is your current model a photoelectric detector?

In for 3.

No, seriously I am. Happy Fire Safety Month everyone!

I… don’t know. It’s at home, and I’m at work. Perhaps I’ll just grab one of these and compare!

That generally indicates a dirty oven or toaster, where old food or residues are charring every time you turn on the heat.