A product made to protect electrical devices from damaging voltage spikes has resulted in over $1.6 million in fire-related property damage and a recall of 15 million surge protectors in the United States this week.
According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Thursday, specific Schneider Electric products, a company which sells their surge protectors to electronic chain stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA, are being recalled for concerns related to overheating. “The surge protectors can overheat, smoke and melt, posing a fire hazard,” said a statement from the CPSC, who confirmed an estimated total of 15 million units of the products “APC SurgeArrest” APC 7 and 8 series manufactured before 2003 are included in the recall.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the potentially defective products were sold at multiple retailers nationwide between January 1993 through December 2002, all ranging in price from $13 to $50.
The recalled China and Philippine manufactured products were reported in connection with 55 claims of property damage due to fires created by the merchandise. According to the CPSC, the surge protectors are also responsible for 55 reports of property damage including $916,000 in fire damage on one home and $750,000 in fire damage to an unidentified medical facility.
The CPSC is advising all consumers to immediately discontinue use of the products as they were found to be related to at least 13 related injuries including smoke inhalation and contact burns. Consumers affected by the recall can receive a replacement surge protector by contacting Schneider Electric at: 888-437-4007 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Refund requests can be submitted online via this claim form.
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