April 17, 2014

Recall: Haier America and Black and Decker Chest Freezers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Chest Freezers

Units: About 67,500

Importer: Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y.

Hazard
: A capacitor in the freezer’s circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries
: Haier America and CPSC have received reports of 18 incidents, including four reports of fires with minor property damage, consisting of smoke damage, damage to a wall, and food spoilage. There have been no reports of injuries.

Description: This recall involves the Black & Decker® Model BFE53 and Haier® Model ESNCM053E 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers. “Black & Decker” is printed at the front upper-right corner or “Haier” is printed on the front upper-left corner of the freezer. “Black & Decker” or “Haier,” the model number, the unit’s serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer. Only Model BFE53 and Model ESNCM053E freezers with serial numbers beginning as follows are included in this recall:

Beginning of Serial Number
on Rating Label
1001
1002
1003
1004
1005
1006
1007

Sold at: Black & Decker Model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart nationwide from January 2010 through September 2010, for about $150. Haier Model ESNCM053E was sold through Amazon.com and other retailers from May 2010 through October 2010 for between $220 to $290.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug their freezer and contact the company to schedule an appointment for a free repair to the freezer.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call the company toll-free at (877) 878-7579 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Saturdays and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Sundays or visit the firm’s website at www.chestfreezerrecall.com

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell them about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

You can Thank NASA for Your Cordless Drill

If you plan to give Dad a cordless power tool this Father’s Day, you can thank NASA for the great gift idea.

According to Howstuffworks.com, Black and Decker created the cordless idea back in 1961 with battery operated tools, but NASA helped refine the technology that led to lightweight, cordless medical instruments, hand-held vacuum cleaners and other tools.

In the mid-1960s, to prepare for the Apollo missions to the moon, NASA needed a tool that astronauts could use to obtain samples of rocks and soil. The drill had to be lightweight, compact and powerful enough to dig deep into the surface of the moon. Since rigging up a cord to a drill in outer space would be a difficult feat, NASA and Black & Decker invented a battery-powered, magnet-motor drillWorking in the context of a limited space environment, Black & Decker developed a computer program for the tool that reduced the amount of power expended during use to maximize battery life.

After the NASA project, Black & Decker applied the same principles to make other lightweight, battery-powered tools for everyday consumers.

Purchasing a Toaster Oven

If you are like me, you prefer a toaster oven to a pop-up toaster in your kitchen. A toaster oven is more versatile. To begin with, the oven can warm pastries and muffins and toast thick sliced bread that a pop-up toaster can’t handle. A larger toaster oven can hold a small casserole or cake, can roast a small chicken or even broil a steak. They can heat up frozen meals- french fries or a serving of pizza. They add less heat to a kitchen than a full size oven, which is nice in the summer. Although you might do some of these tasks in the microwave, the toaster oven browns foods, crisping them, which the microwave can’t do.

Now that you’re convinced of the necessity of owning a toaster oven, you need to choose one. Here are some things to look for when you’re shopping:

Capacity:

Smaller ovens (12″wide x 10″tall x 12″ deep)hold four slices of bread; larger ones (20″ x 10″ x 15″) can handle six.

Settings:Krups toaster oven

The most basic models have a “toast” setting, but most have more, including light, medium and dark settings. For other settings, most have the capacity to bake and broil and some can heat up to 450 degrees.

Also look for features such as preset functions for pizza or bagels which are kid friendly, electric touch pads for setting the temperature or timer, digital displays for setting precise heating and non-stick or porcelain interiors which are easier to clean.

Be sure to measure your counter space, some of the premium toaster ovens can be large and all require an extra four inches behind them (They can’t be flush against the wall) to allow for heat dissipation.

Another feature appearing on taoster ovens is convection cooking. Convection cooking uses air to circulate the heat, cooking food faster and more evenly. It is used for roasting and baking.

The really is a toaster oven for every budget. Some samples (We have not reviewed these particular models.) are:

Black & Decker Model TRO962 Toast-R-Oven with Convection Cooking, about $30black and decker toaster oven

Tefal OT806000 Avante Elite 1600 Watts Toaster Oven with Convection Cooking , about $80

Oster Model 6292 , about $100

Krups Model FBC5 Toaster Oven with Convection Cooking about $200