Dehumidifiers Pose Serious Fire Risk
While dehumidifiers may deliver relief to dry air for many consumers, they also pose a serious safety risk. This month, Consumer Reports warned consumers about a previously top-rated dehumidifier that may catch fire and lead to property damage or personal injury.
The consumer organization said July 1 the Soleus Air dehumidifier was among those listed in a recent stop-sale notice issued by the manufacturer after consumers reported cases of the product overheating, smoking or even catching on fire. The product, which costs $225, was previously listed as a “Best Buy” item with Consumer Reports.
Included in the stop sale are models sold between January 2010 and the beginning of this year. They were distributed under the Soleus Air or Kenmore brands in various sizes. Consumer Reports said a stop sale can be a precursor to an official product recall. Because of the fire risk, Consumer Reports said it has removed the product from their ratings system.
Gree Electric Appliances Inc., the manufacturer, said it is investigating the issue in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the meantime, Gree asked that anyone with a Soleus Air unit to remove the dehumidifier from their homes and return it to the manufacturer.
This is not the first time dehumidifiers have been recalled or faced scrutiny due to the fire risk they pose. In September 2011, LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co. recalled 98,000 of its Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers due to a serious fire and burn hazard. The products were believed to be responsible for more than $1 million in property damage, the CPSC reported.
Nine serious fires from the dehumidifiers were reported in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey. One Pennsylvania home reported as much as $500,000 in damage due to the fire.
Additional resources: Product recalls