By: Russell Maas | Published: May 16th, 2013
A recall has been issued for 355,000 Optimus portable space heaters, due to a potential risk of fires that may develop if combustible materials come in contact with the units.
The Optimus Portable Infrared Quartz Radiant space heater recall was announced yesterday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), after the manufacturer acknowledged that the units may create fires if they come in contact with common household items such as pillows, sheets, blinds, or curtains.
Consumer Reports first raised concerns about fires from Optimus space heaters last year, following testing of 19 different space heaters from various manufacturers. The group placed a terry cloth over the heaters and turned them on, finding that the Optimus portable heater was the only one that caused the terry cloth to catch fire. The group urged the U.S. CPSC to recall the space heaters following the report.
The recall consists of Optimus Infrared Quartz Radiant heaters with models numbers H-5210, sold in 2011, and H-5211, sold in 2012. The model number and year can be located on a label on the back of the heater. The heaters measure roughly 12 inches wide by 13 inches tall by 6 inches deep and were sold in white and have the label “Optimus” printed on the top left corner and has a control knob on the top right side.
The recalled portable heaters were manufactured in China under Dongguan Hon –Hwa Electric Co. Ltd. And imported by Optimus Enterprise Inc. of Anaheim California where they were sold nationwide at Best Buy Market Place, Family Dollar, Heartland, Northern Tool, Rite Aid, and other various stores and online at Amazon.com, ebay.com, and Walmart.com from October 2011 through December 2012 for between $25 and $30.
Earlier this week, 4,560 Meijer Touch Point Portable Baseboard Convection Heaters and 19,640 Family Dollar Store Optimus Tower Quartz Heaters were recalled due to complaints of the units overheating including one report of a Touch Point model catching fire.
Consumers should stop using the recalled heaters immediately and contact Optimus Enterprise Inc. at (888) 672-5832 to receive a comparable ceramic heater or a new model Quartz heater becoming available in August 2013.