Firefighters: Recalled Dehumidifiers Still in Use, Pose Major Fi - WBAY

Firefighters: Recalled Dehumidifiers Still in Use, Pose Major Fire Risk

Green Bay - If you're one of the many people with a dehumidifier running in your home right now, take note.

The manufacturer, Gree Electric Appliances, recalled more than 2.5 million dehumidifiers beginning in September, because they could overheat and cause a fire.

It includes nearly 100 models sold under 13 brand names, like Frigidaire, GE and Kenmore, among others.

The recalled dehumidifiers were sold from January of 2005 through August of 2013 at many of the big chain stores.

Despite the massive recall, firefighters say people are still not heeding the warning, prompting a big safety concern.

"It's my understanding that when they do overheat, it happens quick. There's no real warning. You're not going to smell anything. It just goes," says Lt. Nick Craig of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department.

Craig says, in the last couple of years, dehumidifiers are the suspected cause of two fires in Green Bay.

He's afraid that will happen again, based on the number of recalled dehumidifiers he's finding plugged in and running in homes right now.

"On average, with home inspections, we go into homes and change smoke alarms for folks, I'm finding probably at least one a week. I found one this week already that was recalled," says Craig.

He's finding so many, Craig now carries recall information on every home visit.

Many people, he says, either didn't know there was a recall or thought their machine wasn't affected because it still worked.

Craig says those people are taking a big risk.

"A lot of people run dehumidifiers when they're not home. It can take a lot longer for us to get notified. The ultimate is your house burns down, somebody gets injured or killed," warns Craig.

Firefighters also say if you're looking to buy a dehumidifier from Craigslist or maybe a garage sale, check the cord. The company tells you to cut off the end of it, so make sure a new plug hasn't been re-attached.

It is illegal to resell a recalled product, so Craig says everyone needs to be cautious.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the recalled machines are responsible for $4.5 million in property damages nationwide.

"Biggest thing is go and check your dehumidifier. You're going to get a refund check in a couple weeks, and it could save your house from burning down," says Craig.

Click here for all the recall information.

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