The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) isn’t always the fastest agency in the world when if comes to ordering recalls and other safety actions, which is one reason it’s extremely important to report a problem when you encounter it, and to take action against those responsible for any incident that causes injury.
It’s taken a very long time, but Schneider Electric has finally had to issue a recall for nearly 15 million surge protectors because they may overheat to the point of causing a fire. Most of the surge protectors were manufactured between 1993 and 2002.
To date, the company has received at least 700 reports of the units overheating and melting. There have been 55 reports of property damage, including a medical facility fire that caused more than $700,000 damage and a house fire that caused $916,000 damage. And there have been 13 injuries because of the device, including burns and smoke inhalation.
One explanation for the incredibly long delay comes both from the CPSC and the company itself. While there have been more than 700 incidents, including some causing injury and fire, they also note that at least 15 million of the surge protectors have been sold, so the total number of problems reported constitutes less than one tenth of one percent of the total sold, making the reports “rare” and “unusual circumstances.” They also noted that in all but a handful of cases, incidents were resolved with a replacement before there was property damage or injury.
That said, the CPSC is still interested in receiving reports about APC SurgeArrest incidents, especially in cases involving injury or property damage.
The surge protectors that are the subjects of this recall were produced in China and the Philippines, and marketed under the name APC SurgeArrest back between 1993 and 2002, in a large number of stores, including Circuit City, CompUSA and Best Buy. The purpose of a surge protector is to protect electronic devices from power surges. If you own one of these devices, unplug it right away and contact Schneider Electric IT Corp. at 888-437-4007 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. You can also go to their website to submit a claim for a replacement.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a defective product, and have been injured or killed, or suffered major property damage, please contact the experienced Texas Defective Product Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible.