More than one million breaker boxes have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada because of a fire hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced June 16. Schneider Electric recalled the Square D QO Plug-on-Neutral Load Centers due to the load center overheating, posing the threat of “thermal burn and fire hazards,” according to the company’s press release.
One “incident of a loose wire” has been reported with no injuries, the CPSC release said. There were approximately 1.4 million units recalled in the U.S. and an additional 289,000 in Canada.
The recalled units, manufactured between February 2020 and January 2022, were sold at authorized Schneider Electric distributors, which include The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Menards, according to the CSPC. The date codes range between 200561 and 220233; a complete list can be found on the CPSC release.
According to Schneider Electric:
- Outdoor load centers codes are printed on the inside of the cover, door of the unit, or on the box itself when the cover or door is open;
- Indoor load centers are not visible to the homeowner and can be located by an electrician.
“This recall involves indoor, outdoor and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Square D QO Plug-On Neutral Load Centers that were installed in homes, recreational vehicles, or commercial establishments, including restaurants, manufacturing facilities and warehouses, commercial lighting and others,” the CPSC said in its release. “The circuit breaker boxes were sold in gray and come in various sizes (square and rectangular).”
Schneider Electric announced it will attempt to contact all retailers, distributors and homeowners known to have purchased or installed the product.
Anyone who believes they own one is asked to contact Schneider Electric at 888-778-2733, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET. Schneider Electric will arrange to have the recalled load centers inspected by trained electricians and any replacement deemed necessary will be free, according to the CPSC release.
To learn more about breaker boxes, also referred to as “load centers” or “electrical panels,” read about how circuit breakers work and how to make sure they’re working properly. Also, now is the time to look at your fire safety plan, including whether you have the right kind of fire extinguisher for your home.
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