Amazon’s Ring has issued a recall for around 350,000 of their 2nd-generation video doorbells sold this year between June and October. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there have been 23 incidents of improperly installed doorbells igniting and 8 reports of minor burns.
The chance of fire hazard is a result of using a screw that is longer than the one provided to secure the video doorbell to its mounting bracket. Using an incorrect screw can damage the doorbell’s battery. Ring says that “if the doorbell is installed correctly, there is no risk to consumers or potential hazard present.”
The recall only affects certain doorbells with model number 5UM5E5. You can enter your doorbell’s serial number on this page to see if it is affected. Ring says that you do not need to return your device, so it seems like they’ll send you a replacement part or device if you have an affected model that has been installed with a screw other than the one provided. Ring recommends checking the updated user manual to ensure your doorbell has been properly installed.
Although it is understandable they have to take action, you do also wonder at end users if they’d do something like this in the first place. It must be obvious you’re screwing into something that shouldn’t be screwed into! It’s a totally different thread to begin with.
Incidentally, the screw in question doesn’t ‘secure the bell to the bracket’. It is intended to secure the button plate to the bell so that people don’t steal the battery.
I know when I installed mine – and you get two such screws in the box – that having to keep removing it and putting it back to charge battery was going to end up first with me crawling around in the grass to find it if I dropped it, and second that I was going to have the same issue with the spare screw some time not long afterwards. That was what prompted me to hardwire it and do away with the issue in the short term.
What would make screw-dropping much less likely to happen is if Ring supplied a magnetized screwdriver tool rather than the one they do.
Customers probably thought the screw that was supplied by the manufacturer was too insignificant and thought it would be more secure with a larger screw. I think a criminal would just knock the tar out of this device with a crowbar to disable it.