The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of dehumidifiers due to the risk that the devices may pose a fire and burn hazard. Kenmore dehumidifiers, sold at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, are associated with the recall. The manufacturer, LG Electronics Appliance Co, out of Tianjin, China is also associated with this recall.
The risk to the consumer centers around the fact that the dehumidifiers, which are used to pull moisture out of the air and are sometimes left running for numerous hours unattended, can overheat. These devices can also smoke, melt and catch on fire. This can lead to different types of burns and large-scale fires, posing severe hazards for consumers.
The recall comes after 107 reports of incidents were noted, totaling $7 million in property damage. There were also three reports of smoke inhalation injuries because of these appliances.
The devices, which are described as 35-, 50-, and 70-pint dehumidifiers have the Kenmore logo on them. They were manufactured between 2003 and 2005. These all-white plastic dehumidifiers range in height from 21 to 24 inches and are 15 inches wide and 13.5 inches deep.
Safety Risks and Personal Injury Claims
Those who own these devices should stop using them and follow the recall steps. The CPSC recommends that those who own the appliances should turn them off and unplug them immediately. Owners of the dehumidifiers are also eligible to receive a refund in the form of a gift card or check.
As in this situation, defective products can have serious consequences, leading to severe personal injuries and potential property damage, for which consumers may have legal remedies available.
Source: CPSC, “Sears Recalls Kenmore Dehumidifiers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards,” August 2, 2012.
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