It can also be caused by high power use devices which turn on or off, such as the air conditioner or refrigerator. Past recalls have included power strips or surge protectors which turned out to be defective or faulty and may have increased the risk for a surge protector fire.
Consumers should periodically check recall websites to ensure that their products are not listed as dangerous. By following a few safety tips and staying alert, the danger of surge protector fires or other electrical hazards can be avoided.
These devices help protect our expensive electronics from the typical Texas thunderstorm or unexpected power surge. Fires caused by surge protectors and power strips may pose a risk to your property and safety.
Schneider also received 13 reports of injuries and 55 complaints involving property damage. Avoid fraudulent products : Surge protectors should undergo lab testing to ensure they meet required standards.
In the past, the CPC has also issued press releases to warn consumers about faulty surge protectors and power strips with counterfeit UL labels. However, there are still cases where faulty consumer products falsely advertise a certain amount of protection.
Weather has been crazy for the past month, and knowing Texas in the spring, we are due for some more severe thunderstorms in the near future. Stay safe, and if you decide to use surge protectors to safeguard your equipment, remember some tips from this blog.
Other tips may involve common knowledge, such as avoiding daisy-chaining (plugging surge protectors into other strips). Faulty wiring and other acts of negligence may cause fires with surge protectors or other electronic devices.
Landlords, contracting companies, retailers and other parties may be responsible for injuries and deaths caused by fires. Some surge protectors plug directly into circuit breakers to provide protection for an entire building.
If you or loved ones have been harmed by an electrical fire, an attorney can help review the details of your case. Almost half (48 percent) of home structure electrical fires involve some type of electrical distribution equipment, such as wiring, outlets, switches, lamps, light bulbs, cords or plugs.
Broken plugs are not only a shock hazard, but they can also spark or overheat, causing an electrical fire. Keep flammable materials away : Electrical appliances or outlets that come into contact with flammable materials, such as a blanket, the rug or cleaning supplies, may trigger a fire.
A power surge can increase the amount of electricity flowing to your outlet and overload the outlet, causing the appliance to spark. A surge protector will help prevent this potential fire hazard.
“I had just set a little TV right here on their dresser,” Lizzie's mom, Rebecca Steinmetz, pointed to the top of the chest of drawers. The burn marks resulting from the fire only stopped when Lizzie's dad unplugged the Welkin surge protector from the outlet.
A call to Welkin, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics, did little to reassure her the company would look into the cause of the fire. Fire hazard,” reads one Amazon review posted in 2010, along with pictures of a charred, black, melted plug of the same model Welkin surge protector.
Earlier this year, Amazon stopped selling the six-outlet commercial surge protector with a rotating plug. When Steinmetz filed a claim for the damage to her furniture, Welkin asked for the device, so they could analyze it to find out what went wrong.
Since Rater knew Welkin had requested the device, he didn't continue with more invasive tests that would have made it difficult for the company's analysis. “I'd like to understand the failure mechanism, so I could guard against it in the future,” Rater said, imagining he were in Welkin's position.
Polk said, “We cannot send the device back,” so Rater lost the opportunity to continue his own tests. Welkin also refused to tell Channel 2 Investigates how many complaints it has received of fires started from the devices since 2011.
On the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website, PRC 2 found five reports since 2012, not counting Steinmetz's fire. When buying a surge protector, experts said buyers should always look to make sure it's UL-certified and has at least 600 joules, the minimum amount needed to protect most electronics in a home.
While they wouldn't tell PRC 2 why, we know that Home Depot, where Steinmetz purchased her surge protector, has since stopped selling it. Using our claim data, we have developed a list of the most common causes of fire-related losses as well as some things you can do to help prevent them.
Use surge protectors to protect valuable electronic devices, such as computers and televisions. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
Read more tips to help prevent cooking fires, and what to do if one occurs. Avoid using an older space heater, as it may not have adequate safety features compared to newer units.
When purchasing a new space heater, ensure it is UL Listed and pay attention to the safety features. Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire.
If you plan to install an alternative heating system, such as a wood or pellet stove, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Before installing a wood or pellet stove, check to ensure it complies with the laws of your state and municipality.
Knowing how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can help keep your family safe. A surge protector was the chief suspect in a February fire that started in the home office of Michelle de Putron.
Her heart had to be restarted by rescue workers, who were unable to resuscitate DE Patron’s dog, Perry Mason. A San Jose fireman was injured when he stepped into a hole the surge protector burned in the into the floor of her office.
“This time of year, with holiday decorating, we put a little more emphasis on overloading circuits,” said Alex Filip, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “We realize very few people are able to calculate the number of ohms or watts the unit they are going to plug in is going to take, but they do have limits,” Filip said.
My wife’s synthesizer, amplifier and mixer and another electronic instrument were plugged into an APC Surgeries made in 1996. A second early vintage Surgeries connected a computer and television in another room Last year, Schneider Electric announced a voluntary recall of approximately 15 million APC Surgeries surge protectors made before 2003, following reports of fires caused by the devices.
Schneider will replace them for free (http://recall.apc.com/en), and based on complaints of fires this year, there are plenty of these devices still in use. In a complaint to the CPC last month, a couple reported that they awoke at 2 a.m. on Sept. 6 “smelling wires burning.” They shut off power and searched their house, finally discovering a burned APC surge protector behind their entertainment center.
“It burned our carpet, part of the entertainment center and ruined our DVD and stereo system that were plugged into the unit,” the couple reported. The recalled and improperly used power strips in my home may have left me vulnerable to a fire similar to the one that nearly killed her.
Know which one you’re using: The packaging on a surge protector will give a rating in joules, which tells how much energy the device can absorb before it fails. “We started kind of seeing these types of fires that occurred, specifically one that had some significant damage to a home.
Underwriters Laboratories, a safety certification company, issued a warning where they described the surge protectors as “potentially dangerous” and “may pose a fire hazard. “"These surge protectors are predominately found on the outsides of homes near the air conditioning unit, and wired to the main shut-off,” explained Benninghoff.
We can not stress how important it is that upon installation of any surge device the ground be checked for quality. Judy Donate was preparing for a dinner party that night when she peeked outside.
So I open the back door and with that, he ran out the front door and smelled it and went around the side of the house,” Donate said, referring to her son who was there at the time. He quickly asked for a fire extinguisher, and Donate called 911. Firefighters said the home's siding helped prevent the fire from spreading and causing more damage.
“Thank God (my son) was here because I wouldn't have been sitting in the kitchen had he not been here, and my husband is losing his eyesight. Donate has already filed a claim with her insurance company and was able to get back inside the home shortly after firefighters responded.
The department is urging homeowners to check the make and model of their surge protector to ensure it is not one of the listed units. “They're mounted on the side of the homes right near that main power shut-off, and if you find one, and you have a question about one, contact a licensed electrician or your air-conditioning company.