The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a new Vornado Electric Space Heater recall because of fire and burn hazards. If you have one of these space heaters in your home, check the serial number to see if your unit may be affected by the recall. The company has received reports that the heaters may catch on fire.
Vornado Space Heater May Overheat and Cause a Fire
The recall affects about 350,000 VH101 Personal Vortex electric space heaters. They were manufactured in China and imported by Vornado Air LLC, of Andover, Kansas. They were sold between August 2009 and March 2018 for about $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Menards, Orchard Supply, Target, and other stores nationwide, as well as online at Amazon, Target.com, Vornado.com, and on other websites.
Vornado has received 15 reports of the heaters catching on fire. Apparently, the heater can overheat when in use, posing a risk of fire and burn hazards.
The company has not provided any details as to why the devices are overheating. They have advised consumers to stop using them at once, and to contact Vornado for instructions on how to receive either a full refund or a free replacement unit, including free shipping.
Consumers should look of the model/type “VH101” serial number and ETL mark, which will be printed on the silver-rating label on the bottom of the unit. If your unit is affected by the recall, call Vornado at 855-215-5131 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or see their website at http://www.vornado.com/ and click on “Recalls” in the lower right corner.
Take Precautions when Using a Space Heater
Vornado isn’t the only brand of space heater affected by recalls, though this is the second recall they’ve implemented this year. In February 2018, they also recalled their Vornado Sunny CS nursery heaters because a broken motor mount could allow the heating element to come into contact with the interior plastic materials and ignite, posing fire and burn hazards.
Other brands of space heaters that have been recalled over the years include Wal-Mart’s Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze, and Comfort Essentials heaters, as well as Lasko portable electric heaters and Maijer Touch Point Oscillating Ceramic Heaters.
At the beginning of 2018, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) stated in a press release that space heaters accounted for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires and 85 percent of associated deaths. More than half of home heating fire deaths resulted from placing a heater too close to flammable objects, like upholstered furniture, clothing, and bedding or mattresses.
“Space heaters can be effective tools for providing added warmth at home,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of NFPA’s Outreach and Advocacy division, “but it’s critical that people follow basic precautions to ensure that they’re used safely.” Never leave the heaters unattended, she added, and make sure to keep pets well away from them.