Fire Prevention Week Tip – Is Your Home Protected?
As many Wisconsinites begin to winterize their homes this month, we often get our dehumidifier ready for hibernation during the colder, less humid winter months. Dehumidifier-caused fires are extremely common.
Did you know that dehumidifiers have been the culprits of many house fires in recent years, amassing millions of dollars of damages throughout the country, including three house fires here in Wisconsin, in Menasha, Kaukauna and Madison, just this summer?
In honor of this year’s Fire Prevention Week happening October 6-12, 2019, West Bend Mutual Insurance wants to remind you how to protect your home from a dehumidifier-caused fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than five million dehumidifiers in two separate recalls. Although the initial dehumidifier recall occurred in 2013 and an updated list was released in 2016, many people are still just learning about these recalls. In fact, West Bend continues to receive fire and smoke damage claims due to dehumidifiers, so be sure you check this list and compare your make and model when you unplug it for the season.
The recalled dehumidifiers were manufactured by Gree, Midea and LG Electronics and sold under dozens of brand names, including GE, Frigidaire, Kenmore and Comfort-Aire, and sold at retailers such as Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Sears, Lowes and Amazon. These dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire, posing a serious hazard.
Many of us use dehumidifiers in our homes to remove moisture from the air, especially during humid Wisconsin summers. It is common to keep them running 24 hours a day in basements, where overheating often goes unnoticed. If you haven’t tucked yours away for winter yet, turn it off, unplug it and check the recall list. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to ensure your safety and that of your family and co-workers.
When you pull it out again next spring, even if your unit is not on the recall list, it is a good idea to turn off your dehumidifier whenever you leave the house or go to bed.
To learn more about fire prevention, fire safety and how to protect your home, come visit West Bend Mutual Insurance at the West Bend Fire Department (325 North 8th Avenue) open house on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. Or, check out your local fire department is hosting any special events during Fire Prevention Week.
Other fire safety posts from West Bend Cares Blog:
- Fire safety tips to keep college students safe
- Tips to prevent your home from starting on fire this winter
- Power strip safety tips for your family
- Five high-tech ways to reduce fire risk
Visit thesilverlining.com to obtain more information or to be connected with an agent.