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This Common Electronic Device May Cause House Fires

Posted On March 8, 2017 In Personal Injury

Keep your family safe. Be on the lookout for faulty surge protectors.Surge protectors are useful when they work as intended. These devices help protect our expensive electronics from the typical Texas thunderstorm or unexpected power surge. However, surge protectors can be dangerous in some cases. They can save your PlayStation 4 or home theater system, but they may also start fires. Fires caused by surge protectors and power strips may pose a risk to your property and safety.

Can You Prevent Fires Caused by Surge Protectors?

  • Check for recalls: There have been several recalls over the years involving surge protectors that posed fire or electrocution hazards. In 2013, Schneider Electric recalled 15 million of its Surge Arrest surge protectors. The company received 700 reports of power strips overheating or melting. Schneider also received 13 reports of injuries and 55 complaints involving property damage. Belkin recalled 68,000 of its surge protectors in 2009 over fire concerns. Use the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website cpsc.gov to check for recalls.
  • Avoid fraudulent products: Surge protectors should undergo lab testing to ensure they meet required standards. These will be marked with UL, ETL or CSA labels. However, be on the lookout for fraudulent products sold by contractors or dollar stores. They may contain these labels while still posing a fire hazard. UL typically issues a press release when these products are identified. In the past, the CPSC has also issued press releases to warn consumers about faulty surge protectors and power strips with counterfeit UL labels.
  • Search for complaints: Check for consumer complaints before purchasing a specific brand or model. Products are typically recalled only after many reports of fires or other problems. Consumers may have reported fires or other safety hazards. Saferproducts.gov is a useful resource for researching consumer complaints.
  • Replace surge protectors: These devices need to be replaced after suffering a major surge. Surge protectors pose a fire hazard once they begin to fail. However, there are still cases where faulty consumer products falsely advertise a certain amount of protection.
  • Inspect the cords: Never use surge protectors with cords that have visible damage. These may pose electric shock hazards. Do not try to repair damaged cords. Discard surge protectors or cords that feel hot to the touch. Unfortunately, some devices are cheaply built and damaged upon purchase.

Can Defective Products or Other Acts of Negligence Cause House Fires?

Weather has been crazy for the past month, and knowing Texas in the spring, we are due for some more severe thunderstorms in the near future. Stay safe, and if you decide to use surge protectors to safeguard your equipment, remember some of the tips from this blog. These are only a few examples of how you can protect yourself from defective products or negligent retailers. Other tips may involve common knowledge, such as avoiding daisy-chaining (plugging surge protectors into other strips).

Faulty wiring and other acts of negligence may cause fires with surge protectors or other electronic devices. Landlords, contracting companies, retailers and other parties may be responsible for injuries and deaths caused by fires. For example, if a landlord neglects to repair faulty wiring or if a retailer knowingly sells faulty surge suppression or electrical equipment.

Some surge protectors plug directly into circuit breakers to provide protection for an entire building. These devices may cause fires if they are installed incorrectly by contractors or other companies.

If you or loved ones have been harmed by an electrical fire, an attorney can help review the details of your case. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pursue damages against the parties responsible for the fire.

The Texas product liability attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC will help you hold businesses accountable for causing injuries or deaths.

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