Big patio umbrellas are great. They provide shade on a sunny day and will even protect you from some light rain if you’re not ready to head in yet. But they can’t really do any of that if they're engulfed in flames.
That, along with obvious safety concerns, is why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said SunVilla is recalling 400,000 Solar LED Market Umbrellas sold only at Costco stores in the U.S. and another 33,000 sold in Canada. The primary issue is the lithium-ion batteries in the umbrella’s solar panels, which power the LED lights and can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.
The company has received six reports of the lithium-ion batteries overheating that resulted in solar panels catching fire while charging, umbrellas catching fire when the solar panel puck overheated and caught fire while attached, and one instance of smoke inhalation injury.
SunVilla said consumers should immediately stop using the umbrellas, remove the solar panel puck, stop charging it, and store it out of the sun and away from combustible material. The company and Costco have begun notifying all purchasers of the umbrella, and are offering full refunds regardless if consumers return the umbrella and solar panel puck. The umbrellas were sold from December 2020 through May 2022 for between $130 and $160.
On the same day, the CPSC also alerted consumers to a recall for about 1,700 Troy-Bilt SpaceSavr Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers because it can leak fuel when it is stored in the upright storage position, posing a fire hazard.
If it seems like backyard season is already off to an overly fire hazard-ish start this summer, try not to worry. Just follow the recalls and you should be able to enjoy a fairly flame-free time while shooting off fireworks next to your fire pit.