The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recalls of two types of portable electric heaters due to what is characterized as a significant fire risk. Electric heater fires are not a new problem but they are a very serious problem that can cause people to lose their homes, sustain burns, and lose loved ones.
Recall #1: The Touch Point Convection Baseboard Heater
One recall is for nearly 5,000 units of the Touch Point brand convection baseboard heater. The heaters are black, and they measure 30 inches long, 12 inches high and about six inches deep. They feature the words “Touch Point” on the front, and a silver sticker on the back containing the model number BBC-1500 and date code of 0611. These heaters were sold at Meijer Distribution Inc. stores between Sept. 2011 and Feb. 2013.
To date, Meijer notes that it has received two reports of incidents involving overheating, including one fire that caused what they describe as “minor property damage,” although they have received no reports of injuries. Consumers who have these heaters have been instructed to stop using them immediately and either return the heater to their local Meijer store for a full refund, contact Meijer at 800-927-8699 or visit the Product Recalls section under “Help” at www.meijer.com.
Recall #2: Optimus Tower Quartz Heater
Another, much larger recall involves nearly 20,000 electric tower-style heaters with the brand name Optimus Tower Quartz Heater. These were sold from Sept. through Dec. 2012 at Family Dollar Stores. Thus far, Family Dollar Stores has received at least ten reports of these machines overheating, with some reports indicating that knobs melted, although there are no reports of fire, property damage or injury.
These heaters are about 25 inches tall, 10 inches wide and about 9 inches deep. They feature a white metal casing with a white plastic top. They have vents at the bottom and a wire cage over the heating elements. The brand name Optimus, power and caution lights and two dials line the top front of the heater, and on the top rear are fire and shock warnings. On the bottom of the heater is a silver sticker containing the model number H-5232, below “Optimus Quartz Heater.”
Consumers who have this heater should immediately unplug it and return it to a Family Dollar Store for a full refund, or contact the company at 800-547-0359 or the Product Recalls section under “Help” at www.familydollar.com.
What Should You Do if You Own a Recalled Heater?
If you or someone you know owns one or more of these heaters, unplug them immediately and return them to the store for a refund. If you know someone who has been injured or killed by defective electric heater fires, please contact the experienced San Antonio Consumer Product Safety Attorney at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible.