In recent years, over 7 million dehumidifiers sold under 60 brand-names have been recalled because they can overheat and catch on fire. More than 500 fires have been reported, resulting in over $30 million in property damage. Several people have been injured.
Most people keep their dehumidifiers in the basement or a crawl-space. Winter is not the most common time to use a dehumidifier, but some homeowners leave them plugged in so they automatically run when it gets too humid — and they forget about it.
“Just unplug it right now. Don’t think twice about it,” Lieutenant Robert Kocmoud of the Sheboygan Fire Department told Fox6 Now, after firefighters responded to yet another house fire caused by a dehumidifier.
Just weeks later, a central Indiana family were playing a game at their kitchen table when they smelled smoke coming from their basement.
He grabbed a fire extinguisher and called 911. When firefighters responded, they discovered a recalled dehumidifier at the source of the blaze. The family was fortunate they were awake and at home to respond to the fire with the full-size fire extinguisher they had on hand for emergencies.