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Recalled A. O. Smith Water Heaters Can Be a Fire Hazard

Jason Reese

Do You Have a Recalled Water Heater Made by A. O. Smith?

The number of fatal fires is up across the state, according to Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security, totaling 70 fire deaths in 2017. From January through October 11, 2018, Indiana has already seen 68 deaths. Nationwide, 45,000 – 55,000 home fires are caused by electrical failures or appliance malfunctions each year. The winter months are typically responsible for nearly half of all home fires caused by appliances or heating equipment. However, many times the source of the fire can also be traced to a general contractor who was negligent in completing repairs and faulty or recalled products including everyday appliances.

Most recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 616,000 water heaters made by Milwaukee-based manufacturer, A. O. Smith. The recall is due to a fire hazard risk when the units are installed on a combustible surface and includes both natural or propane gas-fired water heaters. A. O. Smith says that it has received six reports of fires occurring because of the recalled water heaters. Luckily, no injuries have been reported. Recall specifics include:

  • One type of water heater affected by the recall is the residential Ultra-Low NOX Water heater in 30-, 40-, and 50-gallon sizes, manufactured between April 2011 and August 2016.
  • The appliance was sold to independent contractors, plumbers, and plumbing supply and hardware vendors, among others.
  • Water heaters affected by this recall were sold under the brand names America, A. O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftmaster, and Whirlpool.

These models make up the majority of the recall, which includes water heaters with the first four-digit serial numbers between 1115 and 1631. Consumers who believe they have a water heater included in the recall can check the serial number on the website If in use, the water heaters should be turned off immediately.

A. O. Smith’s Defective Product Liability

Product liability refers to the responsibility of the manufacturer or producer of a product, making a product available for the general public that is dangerous, defective, harmful, or otherwise unsafe to use and does not meet the standards for safety. The responsible parties can include the company that made or produced the product, the maker of parts for a product, and/or the store that ultimately sold the product to consumers. There is a possibility that A. O. Smith and its responsible parties may face several product liability cases with this recall because of the faulty design defect. Product liability injuries and a tragic death may occur because the water heaters available for consumer use, were defective, not safe, and did not perform within the manufacturer’s original intent.

Protect Your Family from Home Fire Hazards

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from home fire hazards is to use electricity and electrical appliances responsibly.

  • Never use recalled appliances or items with worn or otherwise damaged cords.
  • If your home is older and has not been inspected recently, hire an electrician to ensure your wiring is up to date enough to handle the modern demands for electricity.
  • Avoid using extension cords as permanent solutions and never run cords under rugs.
  • When using space heaters, be sure not to place them too close to furniture, curtains, or other materials that may catch fire.
  • Teach children about fire and electrical safety.

If you hire an electrician or contractor to do work on your home, it is critically important for your protection that you ensure he or she is licensed, bonded, and insured. In Marion County and Indianapolis, General Contractors are required to be licensed.

Wagner Reese Defective Product Attorneys Can Help

Fires can lead to devastating, life-changing injuries and even death. They place a physical, psychological, social, and financial burden on the victim and their families. If your or one of your loved one has been injured or experienced loss due to a product, appliance, or electrical system causing a house fire, our Indianapolis-based personal injury attorneys may be able to help you put your life back together.

Call Wagner Reese now for a FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.


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