Originally Posted by mrsD
I looked on Amazon this morning and found some very scary
reviews about Sunbeam types...starting fires.... 14 of them in fact.
I think some of those kinds of statistics have to be taken in context, and
with a few grains of salt. Did they happen to mention how many of the tens of millions of Sunbeam pads sold didn't
start fires? Were they all the same model, or spread across all the models? Were they all current models? Were any of them recalled/redesigned? (Design/production faults are often corrected without any notice/hoopla.) Did they say how many were spontaneous combustion vs. "consumer stupidity
I'm not trying to be confrontational
, nor do I really want/expect answers. I'm just trying to put some of these matters into perspective (as a designer, and spouse of a Six Sigma Blackbelt)
14 out of 10 million is .00014% which is a pretty good safety record for any
product. I'll bet there were, in fact, a lot more
than 14 fires, but most
heating pad mishaps are the result of improper use & worn out components as opposed to defective products. When people make complaints of this nature, they tend to want to blame the product rather than admit their own... culpability(foolishness? lack of common sense?)
FDA and CPSC recommend the following precautions be taken to
avoid hazards associated with the use of electric heating pads:
- Inspect heating pad before each use to assure it is in proper working order; discard it if it looks worn or cracked or if the electrical cord is frayed.
- Keep removable cover on pad during use.
- Place heating pad on top of, and not underneath of, the body part in need of heat. (The temperature of a heating pad increases if heat is trapped.)
- Unplug heating pad when not in use.
- Read and follow all manufacturer's instructions on heating pad or on outside package prior to use.
- Use on an infant.
- Use on a person who is paralyzed or has skin that is not sensitive to temperature changes.
- Use on a sleeping or unconscious person.
- Use in an oxygen enriched environment or near equipment that stores or emits oxygen.
- Sit on or against a heating pad.
- Crush or fold a heating pad during use or during storage.
- Unplug heating pad by pulling its connecting cord.
- Use pins or other metallic fasteners to hold heating pad in place.
They didn't spell it out, but heating pads should also not be covered or wrapped by layers of blankets, clothing etc. for the same "heat trap" reasons.
I even found two
websites with detailed instructions & photos on how to circumvent the safety shutoff features!
There will be inherent risks with any mfrs product of this type. Common sense must always apply.
We've had a Sunbeam/Walgreen pad for at least 5 years now, and it's always worked great
. We probably don't use it as much as some people (though there are times I think my wife prefers it to me
) We inspect it before every use (as recommended) and when it wears out, it'll get replaced. We have no reservations about buying another Sunbeam, but we'd prudently compare & check it out at the time of purchase, read the warranty, and use common sense.