Recall Madness: Opposite Day!

Remember “opposite day” at school? Somebody would say something ridiculous and untrue, and then immediately declare that it was opposite day. Suddenly black was white, lies were truth, and all sorts of madness ensued. (Also, it always vexed me that if you declared “it’s opposite day” on opposite day, it ceased to be true. It’s a self-negating statement!)

Something seems to be upside down this week, since two big recalls have been announced for products that are basically doing the opposite of their purpose. First on the list are carabiners, those sturdy metal clips that hikers and mountain climbers use. You’ll often see people use them to clip a Nalgene to their backpack, but climbers use them to secure ropes and such, the idea being to prevent you from plunging to your death.

Unfortunately, the Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a recall of 16,000 carabiners over fears that they could cause people to – you guessed it – fall. The carabiners were used in climbing safety harnesses made by Hunter Safety System, and the company issued the recall after receiving two reports of the pin in the carabiner detaching (fortunately, no injuries resulted). The affected product is the HSS-300 Ultra-Lite full body climbing safety harness, and the attached carabiners have “CB20101” stamped on the side. If you have one of the harnesses, you can return the carabiners to the company or call (877) 296-3528 for more information.

Meanwhile, Haier is recalling 67,500 chest freezers after they started catching on fire. Freezers, as you know, are meant to freeze food. If they’re on fire, they will instead defrost the food, which is the opposite of what you wanted. Also, your house might catch fire too.

The company received 18 reports of circuitry overheating, including four reports of fires that caused minor property damage (but no injuries). The two affected products are the Black & Decker Model BFE53 and Haier Model ESNCM053E 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers, according to the CPSC. To see if your freezer is affected, check the serial number on the back label. If it’s between 1001 and 1007, then unplug the freezer and call the company at (877) 878-7579 to set up a service appointment. More information is available at

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