August 30, 2014

Check Your Home for These Cold Weather-Related Products Recalled Last Summer

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Here’s a reminder from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

 

With winter weather upon us, you may be hauling out products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last summer. Play it safe by checking if your cold weather-related products have been previously recalled. It could save your life or that of your family. You can find out about these and other recalled winter products at www.SaferProducts.gov

 

Product Recall Press Release Hazard Photo
ECHO Bear Cat log splitters

(120 units)

12-189 The end cap of the log splitter’s hydraulic cylinder can break away from the body of the log splitter, posing an impact hazard to the user or bystander. ECHO Bear Cat log splitters
Big Lots Portable Ceramic Space Heaters

(70,500 units)

12-200 The heaters can overheat and melt, posing a fire or electric shock hazard. Big Lots Portable Ceramic Space Heaters
Harbor Breeze Bath Fans with Heater and Light

(68,000 units)

12-212 The fan’s heater blades can fail to rotate properly, causing the fan to overheat and posing a fire hazard. Harbor Breeze Bath Fans with Heater and Light
Snowpulse Avalanche Airbags

(1,200 units in the United States and 2,600 in Canada)

12-268 A leak in the airbag’s cartridge can result in the airbag not deploying, posing a risk of death and injury in the event of an avalanche. Snowpulse Avalanche Airbags

Basic Appliance Care and Safety

If you are lucky, you rarely need to pay much attention to the appliances that run, some of them 24 hours a day, in your home. But to keep everything trouble free, it’s good to follow some basic guidelines for care and safety when using or installing appliances in your home. Handymanclub.com offers some simples steps for use with your washer, dryer, refrigerator, ranges, cooktops, even your water heater.

Ventilation and combustion (dryers, water heaters, ranges and cooktops)
• Clean the clothes dryer’s lint filter before or after each load. Check behind the dryer for trapped lint. Clear lint from the exterior vent often. Lint buildup results in inefficiency and excessive wear and can even pose a fire hazard. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 15,500 fires each year are associated with clothes dryers.
• Use only metal ducting for gas dryers because they run hotter than electric machines. Rigid rather than accordion-pleated ducting is best for airflow.
• Never vent clothes dryers or water heaters into the house to supplement heating.

Plumbing (washers, refrigerators and water heaters)
• To prevent leaky or bursting waterlines, check washing machine hoses for signs of wear. Consider replacing rubber hoses with newer braided stainless steel hoses.
• Check the screens at either end of the water hoses and remove sediment that may have collected there. This is especially important after road construction or water-main work has been done in your area.
• Periodically check that the washing machine is soundly footed and level so the hoses and the drain hose do not come loose.
• If a dishwasher’s tub doesn’t empty after operation, detach the drain line from the household drain and clean any debris from the line.

Gas (dryers, ranges and water heaters)
• Never use an oven as a room heater — combustion pollutants resulting from fuel-burning appliances can cause illness or death. Have gas appliances serviced periodically to ensure they burn with the proper mix of air and fuel.
• Be sure all vented appliances are checked for backdrafting. (This is one reason that it’s important for a city building official to inspect newly installed vented appliances.)

Electric
• Diehard DIYers may bristle at this warning from the CPSC — nonetheless, it’s a lifesaver. Never attempt to repair a microwave oven — because they use high-voltage power, they can pose a risk of electrical shock even after they are disconnected from the power source.
• Use dedicated circuits for large appliances such as washers and dryers.
• Keep appliance cords away from hot surfaces.