Fire Hazard Bulletin: Dehumidifier Safety
Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 10:08am
Humid Weather Prompts Important Reminder
The Madison Fire Department has recently seen an increase in malfunctioning dehumidifiers which are causing fires. Fortunately, these recent fires have been isolated to the units themselves but still cause significant smoke and soot damage throughout the residences.
Every year, the Madison Fire Department responds to fires related to dehumidifiers. These fires have caused minimal to extensive property damage. Many dehumidifier malfunctions occur when the owners are not using the built-in water tank/reservoir and instead discharge the water directly into a drain. This causes the unit to run more frequently; therefore, they are more prone to failure.
Recommended Prevention and Safety Measures:
The Madison Fire Department recommends turning your dehumidifier off or unplugging it when you are not home. Be sure to use the built-in tank/reservoir when the dehumidifier is running, which will cause the dehumidifier to automatically turn off when the reservoir is full. The Madison Fire Department also recommends plugging dehumidifiers directly into an outlet and not into an extension cord. If you do use an extension cord, please make sure it is sized appropriately for the electrical load of the unit. As with all appliances, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when operating.
Ensure your dehumidifier is not on a recall list. You can check your dehumidifier (or any appliance) at www.cpsc.gov and search for “dehumidifiers.”
- Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer), (608) 261-5539, firstname.lastname@example.org