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tools

You know the old axiom: for want of a nail, a shoe was lost. In this case, for want of a nail, a working rubber gasket, a well-calculated electrical circuit and your tools and appliances can blow up in your face.

It’s said that Darwinian laws cull the shabby from the durable. In the case of tools, appliances and furniture, the culling is assisted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC rounds up public complaints of product hazards and leans on manufacturers to gain recalls. Here are a few recent ones:

Give ‘em the chair

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

Office Depot has agreed to recall 319,000 Brand Biella Leather Desk Chairs sold in the U.S. and Canada between January 2002 through December 2008. If the weld to the seat plate has yet to give way and send you flying, it just might. Check with Office Depot to see if your chair is potentially unsettling.

Not your biggest fan

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

The CPSC has encouraged Westinghouse to recall 7,000 ceiling fans (24, 30 and 42-inches) for fire and electric shock hazards. It was found that the two 60-watt bulbs in the fan light exceed limits and can cause overheating or failure. Check the CPSC’s recall page for model numbers involved in the recall. (If you need moving air, open a few sliding windows.)

Cut to the chase

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

Just in time for summer: a fire-hazard recall of more than 20,000 Husqvarna grass and hedge trimmers with a faulty rubber fuel spacer. The units in question were sold at Lowes, Sears and Husqvarna stores from May 2011 until January 2012. Consumers are asked to call Husqvarna toll-free at (877) 257-6921 for recall details.

A word of appreciation

The CPSC says that faulty consumer tools, appliances, toys, furniture and other items cost the nation more than $900 billion a year. Big props to the CPSC and consumers that file reports on product incidents. You can report your experiences to Safe Products, the CPSC’s reporting arm.

Tool recalls that may affect you

It’s time again for a roundup of tools and appliances that manufacturers have recalled thanks to pressure from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In rounding up this installment, I discovered that the CPSC actually has some muscle. In negotiations with the watchdog, Hewlett-Packard Company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $425,000 for not reporting hazardous defects in lithium-ion battery packs.

According to the CPSC, HP released 32,000 lithium-ion battery packs (since recalled) knowing that there were defects that caused hospitalization. And now, onto recent recalls:

Trimmer tool with a vengeance

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

American Honda has recalled more than 17,000 model number HHT35SUKAT gas trimmers after receiving consumer complaints of broken or cracked shafts. Once the shaft is broken, the CPSC says, all bets are off as to whether garden plants or human flesh gets trimmed. New license plate: Guns don’t kill people; garden tools kill people.

You’re fired

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

The roofing industry has recognized the green building trends across the country and some products are truly welcome with consumers. Not so, however, with Suntech America’s SolarBlend roof tiles. The CPSC reports that connectors between the heat-gathering tiles and the wiring to the systems can come loose, creating fire hazards. The systems cost between 15,000 and $100,000, depending on the size of your home. Check with Suntech to see if your tiles are involved in the recall.

STIHL crazy after all these years

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

Talk about garden tools on the warpath, Stihl’s MS 391 chain saws have been recalled after it was discovered the unit’s flywheels have a tendency to crack and go airborne. At that point it’s not necessary that they strike anyone, since their freedom was not part of the mechanical considerations in designing the saw. Check for your model’s serial number at the CPSC report page.

Whew. Home chores and improvements are hard enough without the tools turning on you!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.