2012-08-14 Broken Duracell Charger

Not long ago I bought a Duracell charger for my cell phone.  It has various adapters to fit the different power connectors, in my case it was the Micro USB.  I connected my cell phone to it last night and plugged it into the wall, and this morning I went to unplug it from the wall.  Instead of coming out of the wall socket, the case separated into two halves, and the bare connections to the power prongs were exposed (remember the prongs were still plugged into the wall).  Yow!  My hand was right next to the live wires!  I didn’t get shocked, but I could have if I had been careless and let my hand move a little bit closer.

I carefully removed the case half from the wall socket.  This was not supposed to happen.  Not only is it a shock hazard, it could cause a fire if something came in contact with the bare connections.  Apparently when the case was assembled, the two screws were too big for the holes in the plastic posts, and the posts split.  When I went to unplug it, I did not exert excessive force on the case, I just pulled on it, expecting the whole case to come out of the socket like it should have.  Instead, the split plastic posts broke, and the two haves of the case separated.

I checked the Consumer Product Safety Commission for any recalls for Duracell, and found one: it was related to chargers but it was for a laptop computer, not cell phones (see screen capture).  I guess I was fortunate that all this happened when I was there and knew what was unsafe/hazardous, and took appropriate action.  Others might not have known and might have been shocked.  I suggest that if you have a Duracell charger like the one in the picture, you stop using it and ask for a refund.

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