Certain Amazon in-house products — also called AmazonBasics — are going up in flames for some customers, according to a new CNN report.
The popular AmazonBasics USB cables, surge protectors and microwave are among at least 70 electronics flagged as fire hazards in over 1,500 reviews since 2016, CNN found. There are more than 5,000 AmazonBasics devices total, many of which are labeled as best-sellers.
CNN also reports that about 30 items with multiple concerning reviews remain listed on Amazon's website. At least 11 had removed from the e-comm giant's marketplace since CNN began its investigation, however.
Although these fiery experiences only represent of fraction of AmazonBasics users, the stories are frightening enough to suggest swapping out those devices for ones with less explosive reviews.
At least one person has been hospitalized due to a fire started by an AmazonBasics USB cord, while an 8-year-old child making mac and cheese saw their AmazonBasics microwave caught fire.
It's worth checking out the entire CNN report for customer anecdotes and images. The investigation offers background on the AmazonBasics brand, as well as a list of the electronics and appliances with "fire," "dangerous" or "burn," in the reviews.
In response to CNN's reporting, Amazon issued a statement addressing AmazonBasics safety concerns.
Amazon also performs audits of existing AmazonBasics products once they're launched and available to customers, including additional testing with third-party labs, to ensure those products continue to meet our safety, quality, and compliance standards. We also actively monitor customer reviews, as well as customer inquiries for any feedback related to safety and take necessary action, which can include removing the product from our store, adjusting the design of the product, notifying customers to stop using the product, or other appropriate actions.
Amazon also said it's only recalled two AmazonBasics products since 2009.
What you should look for
If you know you have AmazonBasics devices flagged by CNN, it is likely worth replacing if you have the means. If you don't plan on swapping it out, use caution while operating the device.
When it comes to USB cords and surge protectors, consider leaving them unplugged when they're not in use, and keeping them clear from flammable materials when they are in use.
If you think you have one of these products, CNN advises you to review your order history and compare the identification numbers of electronics you purchased with the devices listed as potentially hazardous.