MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The government is issuing a warning about a possible hidden danger in your home.
From dressers to appliances, hundreds of household items get recalled every year.
But experts say 90 percent of homeowners never return the products because they often don’t know about the recalls.
College student Sophia Meranda is on a mission to warn families across the country.
“I don’t think anyone thinks this is something that would happen to them,” Meranda said.
A fire broke out in her family’s basement in 2018, when a dehumidifier spontaneously lit on fire.
No one was home except for the family dog Bubba, who died from smoke inhalation.
“Definitely a big part of our family and was just definitely a big shock to know that he was gone,” she said. “It is really sad just to talk about it.”
What Sophia’s family didn’t know is the maker of the dehumidifier had recalled their machine, and millions like it, because of the fire danger.
“It’s a very, very difficult problem indeed,” said Joe Martyak, the director of communications at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
He said his agency announces a recall about 300 times a year.
“We have over 15,000 category of products that we have jurisdiction over. It touches everyone’s lives in some way, whether it’s clothing or furniture or children products and toys, sports equipment, electronic equipment,” he said.
You can go to CPSC.gov to see which products are under recall. You can also sign up for notifications. And when you buy a new product, it’s important to register it with the maker and provide your contact info.
“It’s so important because when a recall happens the manufacture can notify you,” Martyak said.
Meranda started a Facebook page called Bubba Barks Back, warning about the recall danger.
“That’s why we’re trying to get the word out, is to help other people at this point,” she said.
She wants to prevent another family going through what she did.