Consumer Product Safety

Press release 2012.02.23 [Prevention of accidents involving electric kotatsu, hot water bags, etc.]

Prevention of accidents involving electric kotatsu, hot water bags, etc.

National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Product Safety Technology Center
February 23, 2012

NITE (National Institute of Technology and Evaluation; President: Itaru Yasui) gave a presentation for the media on preventing accidents caused by improper use of electric kotatsu, hot water bags, etc. as shown in the attached materials.

1. Press release

Release date:
February 23, 2012
Title:
Prevention of accidents involving electric kotatsu, hot water bags, etc.
Publisher:
Product Safety Technology Center
Summary:
Accidents caused by "electric kotatsu (*1)," "hot water bags (*2)," and "humidifiers (*3)" have been increasing according to the product accident information reported to the NITE Product Safety Technology Center. Of these accidents, 158 accidents involved "electric kotatsu," 85 accidents involved "hot water bags," and 52 accidents involved "humidifiers" during the five-year period from fiscal 2006 to 2010. From April in fiscal 2011 to January in fiscal 2012, 12 accidents presumably caused by "electric kotatsu," 7 accidents presumably caused by "hot water bags," and 7 accidents presumably caused by "humidifiers" occurred (*4). As for damage that occurred in the total of 321 accidents involving "electric kotatsu," "hot water bags," and "humidifiers" from April 2006 to January 2012, 14 cases involved loss of life, 46 cases involved serious injury, and 67 cases involved minor injury. A total of 40 out of 321 cases involved a fire in one or more rooms. Since these accidents can often be prevented by using the products properly, we urge you to take note of the accidents to prevent such accidents.
(*1)
Including products that pipe hot air from a fan heater into the kotatsu instead of using the heat source of the kotatsu (so-called "energy-saving duct").
(*2)
"Hot water bags" refer to microwave-heated hot water bags, resin hot water bags, rubber hot water bags, metal hot water bags, and electric thermal storage hot water bags.
(*3)
"Humidifiers" refer to steam humidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, evaporative humidifiers, air purifiers with humidifying function, and hybrid humidifiers.
(*4)
The figures are as of January 31, 2012, and exclude duplicate and inapplicable information.
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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