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Recall date: JULY 17, 2014
Recall number: 14-233

Name of product:
USB car charger adapters, power adapters and 8-pin charger cables.
Hazard:
Improperly mounted plug blades, and inadequate electronic circuitry create a fire and electrical shock hazard to consumers.
See full article at CPSC

The following is a response by a  CCAI member regarding the Electrolux Dryer Fire article that was posted on July 8, 2014.

 

I appeared in Federal Court in San Diego this year as the plaintiff’s witness in a subrogation case against Electrolux dryers.  The fire occurred in Fallbrook, CA 2008.  It involved a two story single family residence with the washer and dryer located on the second floor.  I was called to the scene to investigate the fire.

When I arrived, the Electrolux dryer was in the front yard and the top had been opened by the fire department.  I did my usual exterior and interior inspection and arrived at the laundry room.  The fire was confined to envelopment of the laundry room; with smoke damage extending out the laundry room door.

I inspected the room for all signs of ignition and found none.  I looked at the dryer exhaust.  I interview the insured and proceeded to the front lawn to inspect the dryer.

The dryer had very defined plum and burn patterns indicating the area of the fire’s origin within the dryer.  The Electrolux dryer cannot be accessed from the rear and therefore I did not remove any interior parts.  I took all necessary photographs.

The adjuster was on hand, and we discussed removal and storage of the dryer.  The adjuster said he would take charge of the dryer and make arrangements for storage.

When I was in trial, the defense attacked me, because I did not take photographs of the dryer exhaust on the side of the residence, second story.  Further, I did not photograph the interior of the exhaust line to see if it was plugged with lint.  I testified that the dryer exhaust opening, within the laundry room, appeared to be clear.  I testified that the dryer was the area of origin, and something within the dryer was the ignition source.  Not good enough.

The defense’s position was that the insured did not call a professional and have the lint removed; the dryer would need to be dissembled.  They also contended that the exhaust line may have been plugged with lint and thus lint backed up within the dryer further adding fuel and ultimately igniting.  The jury did not find enough evidence to suggest a design flaw with the dryer and therefore ruled in favor of Electrolux.

The trial I was in marks the fifth trial that Electrolux has won.  They claim the design of the dryer does not cause fires.  I strongly suggest that if anyone is investigating a dryer fire and especially Electrolux, be prepared to run a camera snake the full length of the exhaust line and take as much of the exhaust line as possible to be preserved as evidence along with the dryer.  In this case, I could not have taken the exhaust line without tearing into the wall.  However, even though the Electrolux dryer was the ignition source, the jury believed that Electrolux was not liable for the fire.

See Electrolux article here

Recall Date: July 10, 2014
Recall Number: 14-228

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Power adaptor/chargers (promotional giveaway)

Hazard: The adaptors can overheat, posing a burn hazard.

Read full recall report at CPSC

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

Read more...

U.S. Fire Administration

Electricity is a basic part of residential life in the U.S.  It provides the energy for most powered items in a contemporary home, from lights to heating systems to television.  Today it is hard to imagine a residence without electricity.  It a part of our homes and our activities that most of us take for granted.  We rarely think how powerful electricity is.

Yet, using electricity can have dangerous consequences.  Electrical fires occur frequently throughout the U.S., causing injury, claiming lives, and resulting in large losses of property. From 2009 to 2011, an estimated 25,900 residential building electrical fires were reported by U.S. fire departments annually.

Read more...

Electrolux dryers are dangerously vulnerable to catching fire, according to complaints, consumer reports, and recent lawsuits.  Allegedly, some electric and gas models of Electrolux dryers contain a defect that allows lint to build up in areas unserviceable to owners and close to a heat source, posing a heightened risk of fire.  At least one previous lawsuit also points to a possible bearing failure that causes the drum to move and make contact with the rear heating element, creating sparks which may light lint and other flammable objects.

Read more...

November 10-12, 2014 Training Seminar

CCAI Training Seminar November 10 - 12, 2014  - Click here  for the registration form
Information about the seminar is coming soon.
 

The Goal is Truth

By Paul Francois & Enrique Garcia
Third Degree Communications

When testifying in court as to the manner in which we conducted an interview, defense counsel will often ask us whether we just wanted his client to "confess." We answer that we do not seek confessions  but rather truth. After all, no good cop is interested in false information, only truthful information. That is why our motto at Third Degree Communications is "Nothing but the Truth."

One little tidbit we impart on our students to help convey this concept is by reminding them that if obtaining the truth is their ultimate goal, then they should be doing nothing that might prevent them from obtaining the truth. For example, getting angry with a subject who is lying would most likely sever rapport and interfere with accomplishing the goal of obtaining the truth. Raising my voice, insulting him, or speaking to him in a condescending manner are all most likely going to be rapport killers that will stymie my ability to get to a successful and truthful outcome with the subject. If we want to get people to provide us with truthful information, we should avoid doing anything that will interfere with accomplishing this goal.

This actually applies to many areas of our lives if we think about it. Let's say I've made a new year's resolution to avoid gossiping about other people. There are several steps I can and should consider that will help me accomplish this goal, including but not limited to:

  •  Avoiding certain people who I know thrive on gossip
  • Not asking certain questions that are more likely to lead to gossip, such as "Who did that?" "What are you guys talking about?" "What happened next?"
  • Excusing myself from conversations that turn in the direction of gossip

In the same manner, if my goal is to obtain truthful information, I must only engage in behavior that's more likely to help me accomplish this goal and to avoid behavior that will interfere: 

  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Manipulating my tone of voice to maximize my effectiveness
  • Establishing rapport
  • Being a compassionate, empathetic listener
  • Projecting an image of being non-judgmental and accepting

 

Getting people to tell the truth means creating an environment that is conducive to helping them cooperate. Obtaining our goal means everything that I say and do is oriented toward achieving that goal. It's a remarkably simple concept, but a critical one to remember throughout the interview.

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