California-based Harbor Freight Tools has issued a product defect recall for about 350,000 propane heaters because windy conditions can render the safety shutoff inoperable, posing a burn hazard.
According to news reports, strong winds and hazardous conditions could redirect the butane propane flame to the back of the unit, melting the “tip switch” that acts as the safety cutoff.
In turn, if the heater tips over with the switch disabled, consumers could be burned and suffer serious injuries.
Burn Injuries Reported
The One Stop Gardens 15,000 and 30,000 Tank Top Propane Heaters, the models affected by the recall, are designed to mount on top of a standard 20-pound propane tank and feature an easy-start with variable heat control valve, high-efficiency heat reflector, and safety shutoff, according to the recall notice.
The impacted models were sold at Harbor Freight stores nationwide and online at harborfreight.com from December 2015 through April 2021. They cost about $45 for the 15,000 BTU model and about $75 for the 30,000 BTU model. So far, the company has received nine reports of flame redirection to the rear of the heater and/or the trip switch safety feature melting.
Three of these incidents resulted in burn injuries when consumers tried to turn off the units. The company is advising consumers to stop using these heaters right away and return them to their local Harbor Freight store to receive a store gift card for the amount of a full refund.
Product Liability Issues
These recalled products pose a significant danger of fires, property damage, and serious injuries. Burn injuries have the potential to result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities. These types of injuries often result in significant medical expenses for victims who have to undergo costly procedures such as skin graft surgeries. In addition to the financial expenses, burn injury victims also go through severe physical pain and emotional suffering.
Defective products are among the leading causes of burn injuries in the United States. Product manufacturers have a responsibility to make items that are safe for consumers.
If you have been injured as the result of a defective product, contact an experienced product defect lawyer who will help you secure fair and full compensation for your losses. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help you receive the compensation you need while holding the negligent manufacturers accountable.