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Goodman Pays $5.5 Million Penalty For Delaying Recall of Defective AC/Heater Units linked to dangerous fires

A manufacturer of single-unit air conditioner-heaters whose conduct federal regulators called “illegal, dangerous and unacceptable” has agreed to pay a $5.5 million civil penalty for its failure to recall defective and hazardous units as required by law and for lying to regulators about the number of fires its products had caused. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sued that Houston, Texas-based Goodman Company, alleging that it intentionally failed to inform safety regulators immediately that its “packaged terminal air conditioner/heaters contained a dangerous defect that posed an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death to consumers.” Goodman sold the defective ... Read More

FAA, CPSC Advise Consumers Not To Use Samsung Note 7 Smartphones

U.S. air safety regulators are urging air travelers to refrain from charging, turning on, and packing their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports of the newly released devices exploding and starting fires. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unusual announcement stated that “In light of recent incidents and concerns” about Samsung’s new smartphones, it “strongly advises passengers” to refrain from activating or charging them onboard aircraft and “not to stow them in any checked baggage.” The FAA advisory is the latest measure the FAA has taken to address the risk posed by the proliferation of devices powered by rechargeable lithium-ion ... Read More

Battery Explosions, Fires Prompt Recall of Samsung Note 7 Smartphones

Two weeks after Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, the South Korea manufacturer is recalling them worldwide amid reports that of batteries exploding and starting fires. Samsung said that it does not know exactly which phones out the 2.5 million units it has already sold could be prone to exploding, but it has estimated that about 1.7 percent of  the phones contain the faulty batteries. So far the company has received 35 reports of Note 7s exploding or catching fire. No injuries have been reported as a result of the defect. The Seoul-based electronics manufacturer has recalled the Note ... Read More

Two Dead, Several Missing After Giant Explosion Levels Maryland Apartment Building

Two people are dead and several missing after a massive explosion rocked a Silver Spring, Md., apartment building late Wednesday night. Montgomery County officials responding to the blast said Thursday that the blast and fire that consumed the building injured 31 residents, many with smoke inhalation, burn injuries, and broken bones. Three firefighters were also injured fighting the flames. At least seven people remain unaccounted for. Authorities said there were men, women, and children among the missing but they did not disclose their identities Thursday. The explosion occurred about 11:50 p.m. in one of the Flower Branch Apartment buildings on ... Read More

Boston Transit Authority Bans Hoverboards From All Property, Vehicles

Citing a recent spate of fires, explosions, and injuries nationwide, the Metro Boston Transit Authority (MBTA) announced on Tuesday it is banning hoverboards from all MBTA property. The ban, effective immediately, includes all MBTA stations, buses, subways, trains, and commuter boats MBTA said it has alerted all of its staff of the new rule. “Customers with hoverboards shall not be permitted to bring such devices into MBTA stations and onboard MBTA vehicles. There are no exceptions,” the MBTA announcement read. In making its decision, MBTA said its assessment of hoverboard risk and the decision to prohibit people from carrying them ... Read More

Follow grill safety tips to prevent injuries, fire-related accidents

The purpose of this article is to inform those who enjoy using their grill about the potential dangers involved in the process as well as important rules to follow in order to prevent grill-related accidents. Social gatherings revolving around cookouts (grill-outs) are one of the most popular pastimes enjoyed by Americans as well as people all across the world. This being said, it is important to ensure that these occasions take place as planned, without fire-related accidents that could cause harmful injuries to the individuals involved. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has drafted a document full of grill safety ... Read More

Unconnected Hoverboard Suddenly Explodes Inside South Florida Home

A Fort Lauderdale, Fla., family escaped injury Friday morning when a hoverboard that had been sitting idle, unconnected to a charger, suddenly exploded inside their home. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, which posted a picture of the charred device to social media, said the family was able to extinguish the flames before they arrived. “It was an explosion and I was like the roof is coming down or something,” Kaudrica Hunter told Fort Lauderdale’s Local 10 News. “I never once thought it was the hoverboard.” Ms. Hunt told the station her son heard a spark and then the hoverboard exploded where ... Read More

No Hoverboard is Safe, CPSC Says

Federal safety regulators put hoverboard manufacturers, importers, and retailers on notice Thursday, warning them that the self-balancing scooters must meet U.S. standards for electrical systems and lithium ion batteries or face recall or seizure at ports. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notified hoverboard manufacturers that their products “pose an unreasonable risk of fire” if they don’t meet voluntary UL and UN/DOT safety standards. No hoverboards being sold in the U.S. at this time meet those safety standards, the Commission said, thus deeming the popular scooters unsafe. “Consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite and ... Read More

Hoverboard Fires Damage Homes in Alameda, Sonoma Counties

A San Leandro, Calif., home was severely damaged by a house fire that investigators believe was likely caused by a charging hoverboard. The Jan. 30 fire is one of the latest disasters blamed on the two-wheeled, self-balancing boards, which spiked in popularity in the weeks before Christmas. Hoverboards have drawn a lot of criticism in recent months not just for their tendency to cause broken bones, sprains, cuts, bruises, and head injuries, but also for their electrical components, which can cause the boards to burst into flames and explode during charging and sometimes while in use. Firefighters responded to the ... Read More

Injury risk spurs Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera to ban team from using hoverboards

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera has banned his team from using hoverboards in the days leading up to Sunday’s NFC Championship game showdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Mr. Rivera’s move reportedly came like an angry parent after witnessing his kids risking life and limb riding the two-wheeled, self-balancing motorized boards. According to Fox46 sports reporter Zach Groth, Mr. Rivera said of his players, “They were drag racing them in the fricken hallway!” The hoverboard race apparently took place in the team facility in Charlotte, N.C. “We’re trying to limit exposure to injury,” Mr. Rivera said. Hoverboards are currently the focus of ... Read More