Consumer Product Safety

Press release 2010.11.25 [Preventing Accidents Involving Electric Heaters]

Preventing Accidents Involving Electric Heaters

National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Product Safety Technology Center
November 25, 2010

NITE (National Institute of Technology and Evaluation; President: Itaru Yasui) gave a presentation for the media on preventing accidents involving electric heaters as shown in the attached materials.

1. Press release

Release date:
November 25, 2010
Title:
Preventing Accidents Involving Electric Heaters
Publisher:
Product Safety Technology Center
Summary:
Product accidents reported to the Product Safety Technology Center at NITE include 999 cases involving electric heaters*1 in the five years from fiscal 2005 to fiscal 2009*2. By damage category, these accidents include 91 cases with casualties, 20 cases with severe injuries and 405 cases where a room or wider area caught fire. The number of casualties reached 102, with 72 in their 70s or older, accounting for 70%. Accidents involving electric heaters include 282 cases (28%) caused by improper use or carelessness on the part of the consumer. Causes of accidents can be classified into two rough categories: 219 cases (78%) in which the heating unit came into contact with flammable substances such as bedclothes, clothes and furniture and 35 cases (12%) in which clothes that were hung up to dry fell onto the heater. These two causes accounted for 254 accidents in total, including 85 cases that took place while users were asleep. In addition, 383 accidents (38%) were caused by faults in the design, manufacture or indication, including a significant number of recalled products. Among them, accidents involving halogen heaters accounted for 253 cases, about 70% of the total.
Because accidents involving electric heaters often occur from November onwards, NITE has decided to call consumer attention to this issue to give them an understanding of the accident details and prevent accidents by encouraging them to use products properly, as well as to encourage them to check regularly for products recalls.
*1
Electric heaters: nichrome-wire electric heaters, halogen heaters, carbon heaters, oil heaters, electric oil heaters, ceramic heaters, panel heaters, etc.
*2
Number excluding overlapping cases or non-applicable cases at October 1, 2010.
Press briefing paper in Japanese

For more information;
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Product Safety Technology Center, Product Safety Investigation Division

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