NEWPORT (WATE) – A couple in Newport is crediting their dog for alerting them to an outdoor light that caught fire. It happened a few weeks ago, two months after the family purchased four solar LED lights.
Outdoor solar lights are becoming increasingly popular. You see them at many home improvement stores. They’re convenient, have no batteries and are pretty bright. Donald and Jana Farley bought four motion-activated, EverBrite lights from the Lily’s As Seen on TV store in Pigeon Forge.
They installed none on their shed, which caught fire a few weeks ago. Sadie, the Farleys’ German Shepherd alerted Donald Farley to the flames.
“I noticed her looking up at the building. And when I looked up, there were flames shooting out around the back, the front, and hitting the top of the building here. I hollered for my wife to bring some water,” he said.
“He was throwing the water on it, a pan of water. So I grabbed the water hose to spray it down more to make sure it had quit smoking,” said Jana Farley.
The television commercial for the LED solar light says it is perfect for garage doors, patios and pathways. With a built-in solar panel, it charges automatically and never needs new batteries. Donald Farley said the light on his shed was hot to the touch even after dousing it with water.
He says the Chinese manufactured LED light burned where the on-off switch is located. They bought several of the lights, but immediately removed them from places around the home.
“It just scared me so bad, we just started getting them out,” said Donald Farley.
The $13 light is bright. The Farleys bought the motion sensor LED version to deter intruders and illuminate dark areas. They have several other security lights around their property which have never been a problem.
On a website that sells the solar product, the light does not have glowing reviews. One reviewer said it exploded and caught on fire. Another heard a loud popping sound and the entire unit exploded. According to the website for Carol Wright Gifts, 55 percent of the respondents said they would not recommend buying the light.
“I wish I would have known that before we ever bought these,” said Donald Farley.
It’s likely thousands of these EverBrite LED outdoor solar lights have been sold around the country and likely most have operated with no issues. The Farleys have written to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and explained how their light caught on fire without warning.
“We just got lucky on this one. Insurance companies beware. I would not recommend no one to buy these lights. They’re fire hazards,” Donald Farley said.
Lily’s As Seen on TV store has not responded to a request for comment. Through research, WATE 6 On Your Side found that in 2001, the Brinkman Corporation, of Dallas, Texas, voluntarily recalled about 79,000 outdoor solar lights after it was reported some of them caught on fire. That action came as the result of complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
There has been no such government action regarding the EverBrite solar lights.