Some 15 million surge protectors sold for a decade at some of the nation's largest retailers are being recalled after more than 700 reports of the strips overheating, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today.
Under the government shutdown, the CPSC is only announcing recalls that pose an imminent risk to the public. APC SurgeArrest surge protectors have been blamed in at least 55 incidents involving property damage caused by smoke or fire, including 13 that resulted in injuries, the CPSC said.
The surge protectors were last sold in 2002 and were first in stores in 1993, the safety agency said. Stores that sold the surge protectors include Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA.
The danger to consumers is that these now aging surge protectors can overheat and melt, and potentially catch on fire. If you have one of the recalled surge protectors, unplug it immediately.
APC, or American Power Conversion, is now known as Schneider Electric IT Corp. Rhode Island-based Schneider will replace any of the recalled surge protectors with a new one, the CPSC said.
For additional information, consumers can contact Schneider at (888) 437-4007 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
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Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com