Fire hazard prompts 350,000 + product recall

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, has announced the recall of 350,000 of the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) stating a problem with the video doorbell’s battery potentially overheating when the incorrect screws are used for installation, posing fire and burn hazards as the reason for the recall. The CPSC describes the remedy for future products is simply to produce a new instruction manual. The recall applies to around 350,000 units sold in the US, with an additional estimate of 8,700 that were sold in Canada.

The recall involves Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation), model number 5UM5E5 smart doorbell cameras, which are manufactured in China and imported into the States by Ring LLC, in Santa Monica, California. At the time of the recall, the CPSC stated that Ring has received 85 incident reports of incorrect doorbell screws installed with 23 of those doorbells igniting, resulting in minor property damage, and that the firm has received eight reports of minor burns.

Customer care at Ring gives clear instruction as to how to deal with the issue and states that the “video doorbell’s battery can overheat when the incorrect screws are used for installation, posing fire and burn hazards. This recall involves Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation), model number 5UM5E5 smart doorbell cameras. Only Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) models with certain serial numbers are included.”

It also explains that the notice only affects the Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) 2020 release, not to be confused with the Ring Video Doorbell 2, Ring Video Doorbell 3, Ring Video Doorbell Pro or Elite. The company says that If the doorbell is installed correctly, there is no risk to consumers or potential hazard present.

According to the reports the issue is simply down to using incorrect screws to fix the doorbell to the bracket, rather than using the security screws and screw driver provided with the product. When other screws are used that are too long and sharp it seems that there is potential for them to pierce through the casing and damage the battery causing the hazard. Of course using the correct screws for the job is essential, but human behaviour is not always so predictable, and not everyone always reads instruction manuals. Perhaps the design of such a simple consumer product should not include the potential for such a hazard in the first place.

The CPSC describes the video doorbells in question as having a blue ring at the front and are in a choice of two colours: “satin nickel” (black and silver) and “venetian bronze” (black and bronze). They were sold with a mounting bracket and a USB charging cable. The two-way audio doorbell can be hardwired or battery-powered and supports night vision. The Ring logo is printed on the bottom front of the doorbell and the model and S/N are on a label on the back of the doorbell and the outer packaging. Consumers can determine if their doorbell is included in this recall by entering the doorbell’s serial number at http://support.ring.com/ring-2nd-gen-recall. Only Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) models with certain serial numbers are included.