NORMAL – With the heat and humidity skyrocketing this week, dehumidifiers and air conditioners are working hard to keep homes cool and dry, but a recently expanded dehumidifier recall raises serious concerns for fire risk in our community.
More than 1.5 million dehumidifiers including models with brand names GE, Kenmore, SoleusAir, Seabreeze, and Norpole, have been added to the millions of previously recalled dehumidifiers made by Gree Electric Appliances, who manufacturers these products for these brands. This latest recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and affects 42 additional models of dehumidifiers manufactured between January 2011 and February of 2014. Gree has received reports of at least 23 fires, 688 incidents of overheating, and $168,000 in property damage with the recalled dehumidifiers.
“We cannot emphasize this enough: If you have a dehumidifier running in your home, you should immediately check to see if it has been recalled or unplug it until you can verify one way or another. If it is recalled, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer,” says Public Information Officer, Matt Swaney.
The original recall of the affected dehumidifiers was first announced in September 2013, updated in October 2013, expanded in January 2014, re-announced in May 2014, and re-announced again in November 2016. The Consumer Product Safety Commission evaluated the recalled dehumidifiers and found that they can overheat, smoke, and catch fire, which can lead to serious injury or death. There have been reports of four deaths potentially associated with Gree dehumidifiers, all involving adults who died from house fires that may have been caused by recalled dehumidifiers. One death occurred in 2016 in Ohio, and three more deaths occurred in 2022; one in Iowa and two in Missouri.
While it is a nationwide recall, the Normal Fire Department has responded to several fires and close-call incidents over the past few years that were caused by recalled dehumidifiers.
Swaney adds, “The bad part is that we know there are likely thousands of them still being used in people’s homes. People buy a dehumidifier, set it up in the basement, and then forget about it. It’s out of sign and out of mind. We urge everyone to take this threat very seriously. These units are absolutely causing fires and pose a tremendous risk to the safety of your home or business.”
If you’re not sure if your dehumidifier is recalled, there are many resources to help you check.
The latest recall information is available at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website (https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2023/Gree-Recalls-1-56-Million-Dehumidifiers-Due-to-Fire-and-Burn-Hazards-Reports-of-At-Least-23-Fires), which gives detailed instructions on how to check your dehumidifier model number.
If your dehumidifier is on the list, immediately stop using the unit, unplug the dehumidifier, and visit the Gree Website to register to receive information about a refund: https://global.gree.com/usa/channels/840.html
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION
The CPSC compiles product recalls. Search "dehumidifier recall" to get additional resources.
Gree has recalled 2.5 million dehumidifiers under these brand names. If you see your brand on the list, go to http://greedehumidifierrecall.com/ProductEntry.aspx for more detailed information:
Midea has recalled 3.4 million dehumidifiers sold under these brand names. If you see your brand on the list, go to https://www.recallrtr.com/dehumidifier for more detailed information:
• Arctic King
• Comfort Star
• Continental Electric
• Danby & Designer
• Forest Air
• Ideal Air
• Kenmore (Canada)
• Ocean Breeze
• Perfect Aire
• Perfect Home
• Polar Wind
• Professional Series
• Royal Sovereign
• Touch Point
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