Back-up power packs with faulty wiring are being recalled by telecommunications company Spark due to a fire risk.
Spark announced an immediate product recall of the power back-up devices, issued to around 14,000 wireless landline phone customers during the past four months.
The company said it had identified that some of the power back-up devices had incorrectly placed wiring due to a manufacturing error.
"This creates the risk of overheating which may lead to a potential fire risk." it said.
While the wireless landline works without it, the power back-up was issued to ensure continuity of service in the event of a power outage.
"We are not aware of any fire incidents, or of actual harm being caused to any customers by this manufacturing issue. However, the safety of our customers is paramount, and we are therefore actioning an immediate product recall," said Product Director, Tessa Tierney.
Tierney asked all customers who had received and installed a wireless landline kit between March 22-August 2, 2019 to immediately disconnect the black-coloured power back-up from their white-coloured wireless landline connection box and reconnect the connection box directly to the power socket.
"We will be contacting individual customers as soon as possible to advise them on next steps, including offering them an alternative means of communication should this be required in the event of a power outage."
The recall followed a recent customer report that their power back-up had overheated to the point of smoke emitting from the device.
An investigation determined this was likely to be caused by incorrect placement of a wire during the manufacturing process. Other different but concerning wiring inconsistencies were found in a handful of power back-up devices from a sample that were randomly selected and tested.
"Our technical experts advise us that once the power back-up is disconnected from the mains there is a low risk of overheating or fire. Therefore, we urge customers to disconnect the power back-up immediately and reconnect their wireless landline connection box to the power socket."
Customers could either take the power back-up to their nearest Spark store or contact Spark directly on 0800 159 159 to arrange for collection.
In the meantime, customers should store the device in a cool, dry, ventilated place like on a table or garage floor, away from direct sunlight or water, Spark said.
Those customers who have received the wireless landline kit but have not yet installed it are also being asked to return the kit.
Spark said it would be proactively contacting all customers over the coming days to walk them through the disconnection process and assist them if they have any concerns about their ability to remain connected during a power cut.
As many of the wireless landline customers are older and some do not have internet access, Spark encourages family and friends to help in making these customers aware of what to do.
The power back-up was chosen by Spark earlier this year after a rigorous testing process.
There is no evidence of any design fault or problems with the lithium ion battery that is at the core of the device. Customers can find more information at www.spark.co.nz/productrecall