Ring Warns 350,000 Smart Doorbell Customers Over Fire Risk

Smart device maker Ring is urging hundreds of thousands of doorbell customers to download new instruction manuals, after receiving reports that some of them have caught fire.

The fire hazard problem is said to affect around 350,000 2nd generation Ring doorbells sold in the United States and roughly 8,700 more sold in Canada, according to a notice posted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Ring is one of the leading makers of smart doorbells in the world, and in 2018 it was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion.

Image credit: Amazon

Fire risk

The doorbells that at fire risk were sold on Ring’s website and on Amazon between June 2020 and October 2020.

“This recall involves Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation), model number 5UM5E5 smart doorbell cameras,” said the CPSC. “The video doorbells have a blue ring at the front and come in two colors: “satin nickel” (black and silver) and “venetian bronze” (black and bronze).”

“Consumers can determine if their doorbell is included in this recall by entering the doorbell’s serial number at http://support.ring.com/ring-2nd-gen-recall,” it added. “Only Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) models with certain serial numbers are included.”

The CPSC said that consumers should immediately stop installing the recalled video doorbells and contact Ring for revised installation instructions.

“Consumers can check if their video doorbell is part of this recall through Ring’s website or app,” it added.

The CPSC said that Ring had received 85 incident reports of incorrect doorbell screws installed with 23 of those doorbells igniting, resulting in minor property damage.

The firm has received eight reports of minor burns.

No recall

Ring got in touch with Silicon UK and pointed out that while the CPSC notice said there was a recall on the affected doorbells, customers in reality do not actually need to return their devices.

Ring doorbells should function as intended when properly installed, Ring said.

It added that it had emailed known customers who own a Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) to ensure they are following the installation instructions properly.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority,” a Ring spokesperson told Silicon UK. “We have contacted customers who purchased a Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Gen) to ensure they received the updated user manual and follow the device installation instructions. Customers do not need to return their devices.”

Privacy worries

Amazon’s owned Ring has been at the centre of privacy issues recently.

Last year Ring signed partnerships with with more than 400 police departments across the United States to give law enforcement easier access to videos recorded on its doorbells.

The partnerships allowed police to submit requests for video recordings for certain locations to help with active investigations.

Last week for example, police in Mississippi’s capital city asked residents to connect their smart doorbells to a real-time surveillance hub, in an effort to fight crime.

But privacy advocates slammed the move, saying at the time that it threatened to create a 24/7 surveillance program.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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