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Ring Video Doorbells are catching fire — what to do now

Ring Video Doorbell 2
(Image credit: Ring)

Ring has issued a recall for a number of its second-generation video doorbells over a concern that they could catch fire if installed improperly. 

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission released a recall notice, stating that Ring received 85 incident reports of incorrect doorbell screws installed with 23 of those doorbells igniting, resulting in minor property damage, and eight reports of minor burns.

This issue affects roughly 350,000 units of the second-generation Ring Video Doorbell that were sold in the U.S., and about 8,700 units sold in Canada. Affected units, which were sold between June and October of this year, will have the model number 5UM5E5. You can also check if your model is affected by entering its serial number on Ring's recall notice page.

The issue revolves around the screws that Ring includes with its video doorbell. There are two types of screws that come with the doorbell: One — which is long and pointy — is meant to attach the doorbell's base plate to your door jamb. The other screw, which is much smaller and has a blunt end, it meant to secure the video doorbell to the base plate. 

According to reports, some customers tried using the longer screws in the hole meant for the smaller ones; as a result, they inadvertently pierced the Ring Video Doorbell's battery, which resulted in the incidents described above. 

Ring says affected doorbells do not need to be returned so long as the screws have been installed correctly; the company has released updated instructions on its site. If, however, you have a video doorbell with improperly installed screws, you should contact Ring customer support immediately. 

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide. He oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories, but also tests out the latest standing desks, webcams, drones, and electric scooters. He has worked at Tom's Guide for many a year; before that, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight or chagrin of his family.