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After reports of fires, millions of surge protectors recalled

Product recalls seem to be a common occurrence. Often, product recalls are the result of a company being extra cautious to avoid any negative repercussions in the unlikely event that someone becomes injured or ill. Other times, however, product recalls are the result of malfunctions that put consumers in serious danger. An example of this situation recently came to light when several people were seriously injured by a malfunctioning product.

Florida residents should be aware of the recent recall of 15 million surge protectors. According to a news release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 700 people experienced the Schneider Electric surge protectors overheating and melting. In some cases, fires even broke out. The defective surge protectors were sold from 1993 to 2002.

The CPSC says that 55 people suffered property damage because of the surge protectors, and at least 13 people suffered burns or smoke inhalation when the product overheated. One home sustained $916,000 in damage when a fire broke out because of a Schneider Electric surge protector.

Although Schneider Electric has advised people to stop using the product and contact them for a replacement, the gesture comes too late for many people.

By the time products make it to the shelves of our local supermarkets and convenience stores, we expect that they have been properly tested for any type of malfunction. When companies show negligence by allowing defective products to make it into the homes of consumers, people can become seriously injured as we saw in this situation. Hopefully Schneider Electric and other companies that produce goods for consumer use will find better ways to ensure the safety of their products.

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission,"Schneider Electric Recalls APC Surge Protectors Due to Fire Hazard," Oct. 3, 2013

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