Dehumidifiers are a common appliance on hot summer days, and we generally trust them to work as advertised. But according to a recent story from KABC Los Angeles, a widely-sold dehumidifier may be a dangerous product to keep in the home. The manufacturer, Gree Electric Appliances, has issued a recall on all of the devices, stating that they may pose a fire risk to their owners.
The affected dehumidifiers were apparently sold under a wide variety of brand names, including such famous brands as Kenmore and Frigidaire. Each device is roughly box-shaped and made of white, gray or black plastic. The dehumidifiers are approximately two feet tall, 14 inches wide and 10 inches deep.
Gree Electric Appliances says the dehumidifier has a tendency to overheat, which can cause fires. This is particularly troubling, as dehumidifiers are often left unattended overnight. Such a situation presents a huge risk to any sleeping residents, as well as a risk of significant property damage to the home.
Apparently, there have already been 165 incidents associated with the affected dehumidifiers, including 46 fires. Those fires caused an estimated $2.15 million in property damage.
The products were sold at a wide variety of brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as online through Amazon and eBay. According to reports, they were generally sold for between $110 and $400, depending on the model.
The recall affects all units sold between January 2005 and August 2013. The company has not stated how many affected dehumidifiers were sold, but given the wide distribution of the product and the long period of time in which it was sold, it is likely that the number is very high. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has asked anyone who has suffered an injury from this potentially dangerous device to report the incident to the CPSC.
Source: KABC-TV, "Gree dehumidifiers recalled over fire, burn hazard" No Author Given, Sep. 12, 2013