Summer is finally here and we hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine. During winter we focus on space heaters, fireplaces/furnaces, and candles as fire hazards in the house. But now we are looking to an appliance in your home that you run during the summer without thinking that it may be a potential hazard. A recent house fire was related to a dehumidifier that was on a manufactures recall list. Dehumidifiers have caused hundreds of house fires with millions in damages and played a role in last month’s first-ever criminal charges under a federal product-safety law.
But despite a national recall, thousands of dangerous, defective dehumidifiers remain in people’s homes, often running 24/7 in basements where overheating can go unnoticed. With the warmer weather bringing rain and humidity, the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging consumers to check their make and model against several announced recalls for dehumidifiers made by Gree Electric Appliances, GD Midea Air Conditioning Equipment Ltd. and LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co. The recalls cover about 6.8 million dehumidifiers that were sold as late as 2013 at major stores including Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe’s, Menards, Sam’s Club, Sears, Ace Hardware, Walmart and Amazon.com. The defective dehumidifiers have been linked to approximately 500 fires that caused a total of more than $25 million in damage, according to the Federal Consumer Agency. The bulk of those were with Gree dehumidifiers. The recalls were announced and reissued over the past few years, but the fires keep occurring. It’s not known how many units are still in people’s homes but generally, consumer response to recalls averages about 6 percent.
That means a lot of defective dehumidifiers are still in operation within our homes. To check your dehumidifier, search on CPSC.gov for “dehumidifier” to bring up information on the recalls. Gree also has its own recalls site, as does Midea.
We have had a number of fires in West Fargo related to dehumidifiers, with the majority of the units being on a recall list. If you have a dehumidifier in your home, please take the time to look at this website; Consumer Product Safety Commission (cpsc.gov) to see if your unit has been recalled. If you are unable to do so; please contact the West Fargo Fire Department (433-5380) and we will come out and locate your model and see if it has been recalled. Your safety is our number one priority. Have a fire safe summer.