Home Depot recalls 190,000 ceiling fans because the blades could fly off

Home Depot has recalled 182,000 ceiling fans sold in the US, after discovering that the blades could detach while it was in use and potentially injure people in the room. So far, two incidents involving detached fan blades have been reported to the retailer, while four reports of property damage have been received.

The fan, the Hampton Bay 54-inch Mara Indoor/Outdoor ceiling fan, is among the most affordable that Home Depot offers, retailing for around $150. It was sold exclusively at the store and through its online store between April 2020 and October 2020.

During that time, around 182,000 units were purchased in the US, and a further 8,800 approximately in Canada. The fan has five blades and a cylindrical center color-changing LED light, and is operated by a remote control. Four different finishes – Matte White, Matte Black, Black, and Polished Nickel – were available; the Black and Polished Nickel versions were only sold online.

"Consumers should immediately stop using the ceiling fans," Home Depot warns. They should inspect the construction of the fan carefully, looking out particularly for any incorrect play in how the blades attach to the body of the fan. "If consumers observe blade movement or uneven gaps between the blades and fan body or movement of the clip during inspection," Home Depot says, "consumers should immediately contact King of Fans for a free replacement ceiling fan."

According to King of Fans, manufacturer of the fan, the problem is down to a manufacturing defect. Specifically, at "the assembly of the fan blade's locking clip to the fan flywheel" the company explains, "one of the two screws retaining the locking clip is not adequately secured tot he flywheel."

Actually checking that could be a headache, depending on the height of your ceiling. First, owners should attempt to move each blade within the fan body: if correctly secured, they should not move without the body itself moving too. Uneven gaps between the blade and the motor assembly are also a red flag.

After that, owners should remove the light, which is held in place magnetically, having first turned off the electricity supply at their fuse box for safety. Each blade clip inside has two screws, which should be screwed in flush rather than cross-threaded. King of Fans recommends re-tightening each by hand with a screwdriver.

It's a significant recall for Home Depot, even if actual injuries have been relatively rare compared to the number of fans sold. The company's last ceiling fan recall, in mid-2019, only covered less than 8,000 units; then, electrical wires for the lights could be damaged, presenting a shock risk.