Homes throughout the nation have dehumidifiers to help pull moisture out of the air. In states like Ohio, these machines are commonly used during the summer months when it can be particularly humid. When someone purchases a dehumidifier, it is unlikely that many consider that it could be defective. Nonetheless, as a recent recall illustrates, this is a possibility.
The recall is due to the possibility that the dehumidifiers could overheat. As a result of overheating, fires broke out in at least 46 instances. In total, 2 million of the machines were recalled in the United States and Canada. The machines were sold under many different names but were all manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances. They were available at a wide variety of retailers for over eight years, beginning in January 2005.
Fires can result in devastating property damage as well as serious and painful injuries to people. In addition to taking a long period of time to heal, burns are usually quite painful for those who suffer from them and may lead to bad scarring. During the healing process surgical procedures are sometimes necessary and infection is a very real possibility. In the worst cases death is the end result.
It does not appear that anyone has suffered injuries as a result of the dehumidifiers starting on fire. In cases where these types of injuries do occur as the result of a defective product, it is possible that the injured person or his or her loved ones could file a civil lawsuit to recover financial damages. Besides potentially providing compensation for one’s injuries, such a case also serves as a punishment to the manufacturer or other entity being sued.
Source: USA Today, “Over 2 million dehumidifiers recalled for fire risk,” Kim Painter, Sept. 12, 2013