Millions of name-brand household items have been recalled due to safety concerns, and many of these recalled products could have ignited a blaze similar to the one that devastated Chicago two weeks ago.
According to the Chicago Tribune, several popular household products were recalled this week from well-known stores such as Apple, Ikea, Michaels, and Goodman.
The most notable of these recalls is from Ikea, which was forced to send out an urgent notice to its customers after a fatal flaw was found in its HYBY and LOCK ceiling lamps. The plastic retaining clips that secure the lamp’s glass shade are prone to breaking, potentially leading to the glass shade falling to the floor and shattering.
There have already been 224 reports from all over the world of the lamps’ glass shades randomly falling due to issues with the plastic clips, resulting in 11 injuries. Approximately 840,000 lamps in the U.S. and 427,000 lamps in Canada have been recalled.
Apple was forced to recall almost one million travel adapter kits because of the possibility of shocks when consumers attempted to remove them from an outlet. And arts and crafts store Michaels recalled about 500,000 artificial poinsettias due to the threat of mold developing in their stems and bushes.
While all of these recalls are quite frightening, Chicago residents may be particularly interested in the thousands of air conditioners being recalled due to fire hazard concerns.
As NBC Chicago reported, a massive fire tore through Buyer’s Flea Market in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood on March 8, causing millions of dollars in damage. Fire officials now believe that the fire may have been caused by an electrical issue in a vendor’s booth.
Some of the recalled air conditioners, which were sold at Goodman and other wholesale HVAC stores around the country, can spontaneously combust due to overheating. There have already been 10 reports of the air conditioners catching fire, including four incidents that caused major property damage.
About two-thirds of all U.S. homes have air conditioners, so people in Chicago and elsewhere will want to check and make sure that their AC has not been recalled. The units that caught fire were manufactured by Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps (PTAC).
The recalled air conditioners have a beige power cord labeled with a four-digit date code ending in “06” or “07.” The recall affects about 5,300 units in the U.S., not including an additional 233,500 PTAC units that were recalled in Aug. 2014 for the same issue.
Chicago cannot handle another serious fire, so residents are strongly encouraged to double-check their AC unit and other household products that may have been recalled.