Small electronic devices are a part of almost everyone’s life in the United States. While battery chargers, headphones and hotspots can be beneficial for work or leisure, sometimes these devices show themselves to be defective. They may fail to work, but more importantly, they could constitute a fire hazard.
In the event an electronic device could injure you due to a defect, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will likely put out a notice on its website that the device is under a recall order. The CPSC lists recent products of electronic devices and accessories that may pose danger to their users. The following items may also contribute to the fire hazard of specific products.
Many small electronic devices use ion batteries as a power source. The problem is that defective batteries may overheat. Verizon recently encountered this problem with their mobile hotspots. According to Verizon, some of their hotspots have overheated in at least 15 instances, resulting in fire damage to floors or bedding. Two reports have described people suffering minor burns.
Sometimes where a person keeps an electronic device can produce a fire risk. For example, placing a battery inside of a charging case can trap heat and increase the risk of a fire. Audio-Technica has experienced an issue like this with their charging cases. Some of their cases have overheated and caused damage to nearby surfaces, though no one has reported injury.
A power cable connected to a device can also produce fire due to a defect. Goal Zero discovered that some of their power cables had overheated, melted or caught fire. The cause stemmed from pins inside the power cord’s connector deforming and overheating. No one reported any injuries. Goal Zero has issued a recall and has offered to replace these cables.
In addition to paying attention to recall orders, consumers may benefit by looking at the recall information on the CPSC website. There are usually instructions about how to minimize injury risk by modifying the recalled devices. In some cases, there is no way to safely use the device. The manufacturer will instead recommend stopping the use of the device at once.