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Recall issued for dehumidifiers that cause home fires

BY Brae Canlen

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., is re-issuing a recall on dehumidifiers that have already caused more than $1 million in property damage. The recall involves 30-pint portable dehumidifiers sold under the Goldstar and Comfort-Aire brands. 

The dehumidifiers were sold through Home Depot, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Do it Best, Orgill, and other outlets and distributors nationwide from January 2007 through June 2008 for between $140 and $150.  They were manufactured in China.

The power connector for the dehumidifier’s compressor can short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers and their property. The dehumidifiers were first recalled in December 2009 following 11 incidents, including four significant fires. 

Since that time, the company has received sixteen additional incident reports of electrical arcing, smoke and fire associated with the dehumidifiers, including nine significant fires. No injuries have been reported. Fires are reported to have cause property damage that includes: $500,000 in damage to a home in Gibsonia, Pa.; $200,000 in damage to a home in New Brighton, Minn.; $183,000 in damage to a home in Hudson, Mass.; $192,000 in damage to a home in Valparaiso, Ind.; $139,000 in damage to a home in Salem, Ohio; $129,000 in damage to a home in Brielle, N.J.; and $ 95,000 in damage to a home in Philadelphia, Pa. 

Because of the severity of the risks, CPSC and LG Electronics are concerned with the lack of consumer response to the initial recall. Only 2% of the 98,000 consumers who purchased these units have received a free repair, which means that consumers and their property remain at risk.


 

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K.Dawson says:
Sep-20-2011 01:24 am

10 Ways to Prevent Basement
10 Ways to Prevent Basement Mold Basement mold is a common problem in homes that have damp, dark basements. Mold is a fungus, which grows fast in moist, humid conditions. Once it establishes its presence in your basement, this problem is very difficult to get rid of. Mold causes several health problems such as asthma, infections, cough, rashes, congestion and allergies. The best way to prevent mold growth is to control humidity and moisture in your basement. If for any reason the humidity and moisture in your basement is hard to control look into purchasing a humidifier. 1. Monitor Humidity Levels High humidity levels provide the perfect growing environment for mold. You must ensure that humidity levels within your home, especially the basement, are within acceptable levels. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. A humidity percentage of 45 or more is high, and can be conducive to growth of mold. 2. Use a Dehumidifier If you detect high moisture levels in the basement, invest in a good quality dehumidifier. This appliance is quite effective in keeping humidity levels under check. Dehumidifiers come in different sizes and price range. Research what is best for your particular situation. 3. Avoid Growing Plants Indoors Plants grown in the basement provide a good diet for mold and mildew. Only grow plants in sunny, airy locations in your home. Avoid the basement for cultivation of any sorts. 4. Reduce Congestion in the Basement Try to keep your basement free of clutter. Too many objects and storage items block the free flow of air, and reduce ventilation. Items such as clothes and books stored in the basement provide food on which mold and mildew thrive. If you do not have an option, store minimal quantities of such items, away from direct contact with the floor or walls. Plastic tubs is a great storage idea for your basement. 5. Avoid Storing Wood in the Basement Wood is another ideal habitat for mold to grow in. Never store wood in the basement. An open, airy location is the best choice for storing wood. 6. Ensure that Water is Directed Away From Your Home The boundary around your home must be sloped in such a way that snow and rain are directed away from the house. If not, water and moisture will pool around the structure, and increase moisture and leakage problems. In such a situation, mold is almost inevitable. If it is hard to redirect the water away from your home, you may need to look into putting French drains in. 7. Take Care of Spills and Leaks Immediately If there are any leaks in the basement, sometimes because of heavy rain, take care of it immediately. Wipe the water from the area and dry it thoroughly. Use of a dehumidifier and heater will accelerate the drying process. Also investigate the requirement of further insulation for your walls. 8. Insulate Water Pipes in the Basement Generally, cold water pipes in the basement show condensation of water on the exterior. Insulating such pipes reduces the humidity levels in the basement. 9. Use an Exhaust Fan Air out stale, humid air and allow the intake of fresh air with the use of an exhaust fan. Try to open doors and windows to the basement regularly. 10. Reduce Humidifying Factors Avoid drying wet clothes in the basement. Make sure appliances such as dryers, stoves, heaters and air conditioners exhaust to the outside, or else the humidity can rise significantly. Avoid carpets and wood flooring in the basement. http://www.crazymountainheaters.com

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In defiance of leaves: FXI promotes Leaf Defier

BY HBSDealer Staff

Media, Pa.-based FXI Building Products is promoting its Leaf Defier as a product that is both green and effective as a gutter protection system. 

Recently awarded the “Green Buildings Product Seal” from Green-Buildings.com due to its ability to meet several green and high-performance building criteria, Leaf Defier has also prevents sags and related gutter damage as well as overflows that can lead to landscape erosion, foundation cracking and other structural failures.

Designed with high-performance urethane polymers, Leaf Defier was designed by FXI Building Products to easily fit into nearly any gutter to ensure leaves, twigs, pine needles and other possible obstructions and animal food sources are kept from entering and clogging the system. Water flows through the foam filter insert, into the gutter valley and out the downspout to virtually eliminate overflows and the collection of stagnant water that can also attract breeding insects and feeding animals.

 

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Christmas Creep coming to a store near you

BY Brae Canlen

Several national retailers, including Home Depot and Sears, will begin setting up their Christmas displays this week, according to an article in the Tampa Tribune. The phenomenon of early Christmas merchandising, known as “Christmas Creep,” is overshadowing Halloween this year, the newspaper reported. 

Home Depot spokesman Craig Fishel told the newspaper that “many stores” will set up their Christmas programs by Sept. 19. Each store will put out the full assortment: ornaments, wreaths, artificial trees, figurines, inflatable yard sculptures and strings of lights. Fresh-cut trees will come later in the season, he said. 

Fishel cited feedback from customers as a reason for the earlier-than-usual launch, which comes three months before the actual holiday.

Sears and Kmart will also start stocking their Christmas merchandise in mid-September, where they will share the seasonal area with Halloween decorations.

Sam’s Club put out displays of Christmas lights, wrapping, holiday cards and Harry & David sampler baskets in early September, the article said, and by early October, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will display six themed Christmas trees and more holiday food, according to a company spokeswoman.

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