Surge Protector Overheating, Smoking, or Burning Investigation

In 2011, Milestone AV Technologies recalled their Sanus surge protectors because they posed a shock hazard. In 2013, Schneider Electric recalled some of its surge protectors after 700 reports of overheating and melting and 55 claims of property damage from smoke and fire. In 2016, 360 Electrical recalled some of their surge protectors because they “can short circuit when non-grounded plugs are connected, posing a shock or fire hazard.”

In fact, if you search the Consumer Product Safety Commission website, you can find numerous recalls of surge protectors made by many different companies, going back to the 1980s.

Surge protectors are designed to protect electrical or electronic equipement from voltage spikes or surges that can damage them. According to Wikipedia,  “[a] surge protector attempts to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold.”

Surge protectors use different systems to shunt or “drain off” the excess power of a surge, and they vary a lot in how large of a spike or surge they can handle. Most cannot handle a really large surge, such as a direct lightning strike. After a sequence of small surges, or one very large surge, they can wear out and no longer protect equipment. There’s no easy way for consumers to tell how much protective capacity a surge protector has left. Some have LED indicators that change color or go out, and a few are now built to shut down and stop passing any electricity at all when their protective capacity is exhausted.

What’s dangerous is when surge protectors begin to overheat, smoke, or burn. It can cause injuries, such as shocks and burns, and can cause fires that lead to property damage and even loss of life.

If you have a surge protector that has been exhibiting any of these signs, stop using it immediately, and then contact us. We’re investigating which brands of surge protectors are most dangerous to consumers. Class action suits can compensate consumers for damage and require manufacturers to meet higher safety standards. Fill out the form on this page and let us know about your experiences.

Article Type: Investigation
Topic: Consumer
No case events.
Tags: Defective Product, Surge Protector