Umbrellas don’t tend to work as well when they are on fire. That’s why SunVilla Corporation is recalling its 10’ Solar LED Market Umbrellas that have been sold exclusively at Costco. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been reports of such umbrellas being on fire, but not in a positive, “you’re on fire” type of way. Instead, this has been the burst-into-flames-oh-my-goodness-why-is-the-umbrella-doing-that type of on fire.
This recall reportedly encompasses around 400,000 of these umbrellas. They were manufactured in China, imported by SunVilla Corporation, which is based in Chino, California, and sold through Costco both online and at in-person stores from December 2020 through May 2022. Since approximately 33,000 of these umbrellas have been sold in Canada, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) also issued the following tweet and notice:
Why would an umbrella catch fire, assuming that you aren’t using a flame thrower at the same time? Well, this ain’t your ordinary “Singing in the Rain” umbrella. It’s electric. It’s one of those big standing umbrellas. It’s also solar-powered. The umbrella has light-emitting diode (LED) lights on its arm. Also, on its top is a black solar panel battery puck with a black cover that’s marked “YEEZE” or “YEEZE 1.”
And, oh YEEZE, it’s the lithium-ion battery that has had people saying what the puck on multiple occasions The company has gotten at least six reports of such batteries overheating. Overheating plus combustible material ain’t a good combination. In three cases, the pucks apparently caught fire while being re-charged indoors with AC adapters. In two cases, the puck dud the flame on thing while attached to the umbrella. One case even resulted in someone suffering smoke inhalation injury.
The following WPRI-TV Providence, Rhode Island, news segment mentioned the umbrella recall as well as recalls of hanging overhead storage racks for garages and dog food:
Cables snapping and hanging storage racks falling? Yikes. But back to what this article is covering now: umbrellas.
So if you’ve bought one of these umbrellas, or perhaps two or three or four hundred of them, stop using such products immediately. Get the puck out of there, meaning remove the solar panel puck from the umbrella. Keep the puck away from the sun or any combustible material. This means don’t put the puck in a drawer with clothes or in your drawers, meaning your underpants, for that matter. Otherwise, you could find yourself on fire, in a bad way. Instead, get your umbrella and puck in a row and return them to any Costco Warehouse for a full refund. That’s assuming that you would rather have more money than less. Should you have trouble returning the product Costo, SunVilla offers ways of contacting them via phone, email, and a form on the web.
When shopping for something like an umbrella, your inclination may not be to ask, “oh, by the way, will this product catch on fire?” After all, you typically buy an umbrella to protect you from the elements and probably don’t assume that you will need something to protect you from the umbrella. Nevertheless, whenever batteries or any electric components are part of a product, double-check to make sure that none of the parts may get too hot while in use, especially if readily combustible materials are anywhere nearby. Otherwise, things with such an umbrella could get, well, a bit shady.
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