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Greg Webb
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Fire Safety: Nearly 200,000 Dehumidifiers Recalled

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January 14, 2011– Concerns about issues involving ultrasonic humidifiers have surfaced once more. Concerns involving humidifiers and fire safety in the home are not new. In 2006, the CPSC, in conjunction with Hunter Fan of Memphis, Tennessee, issued a voluntary recall for some point-of-use humidifiers which humidify the air in a particular area or room of a home noting that the humidifier could pose a fire hazard when and if water leaked into the humidifier’s electrical compartment (July 18, 2006, CPSC recall of Warm Mist CareFree® Humidifiers, manufactured in China and recalled by Hunter Fan of Memphis, Tennessee). 29,000 Humidifiers were involved and four reports of adverse results using the humidifier in question had been received by the manufacturers.

On January 11, 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with GE and Professional Series Brand, issued a voluntary recall of 198,000 dehumidifiers due to a possible fire hazard. The manufacturers had received 14 reports of smoke and fumes emitted from the units. Six of the 14 reports involved fire incidents. According to the CPSC, “This recall involves 30-pint and 40-pint portable dehumidifiers manufactured between November 2006 and August 2007, and during April 2008. The dehumidifiers are white with a front-loading water bucket. "GE" or "Professional Series" and digital controls are located on top of the dehumidifier.

Reuters also weighed in on the dehumidifier recall, stating that “Between February 2007 and June 2009, the dehumidifiers were sold at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Menards and other retail stores throughout the country for between $140 and $180 per unit.”

Model numbers of the GE humidifiers being recalled include: AHK30LK, AHW30LK, AHM30LK, AHK40LK, AHH40LK, and AHM40LK; Professional Series model numbers begins with PS78303.

Consumers of the affected humidifiers will be able to return them to authorized service centers for a free repair. For more information, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11088.html