Ring Doorbells Recalled Due to Fire Risk

Ring Doorbells Recalled Due to Fire Risk

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  • Ring, the manufacturer of a widely used video doorbell, last week issued a recall notice affecting over 350,000 of its 2nd generation doorbells.  The units affected by the recall were sold on Ring’s website and on Amazon between June and October of 2020 (Ring is owned by Amazon).

    The reason for the recall notice is that if installed using the wrong type of screw, the batteries of the doorbells in question could overheat and catch fire.  So far the company has received reports of this happening in about two dozen cases which resulted in property damage and a few minor burns.

    The company says that if the doorbells were installed using the screws provided with the doorbell that there is no risk of fire.

    Impact to Dynamark Security Customers

    Although Dynamark Security has installed a few Ring doorbells for customers during the past year, none of them were the type of doorbell affected by the recall, and at any rate they were all installed using the correct screws.  So, the recall does not affect any Ring video doorbells installed by Dynamark Security.

    That being said, some of our customers who have alarm systems installed and/or monitored by Dynamark sometimes supplement those systems with a video doorbell that they purchase and install on their own.  If that is the case, those customers can visit the Ring website to check if their doorbells are affected by the recall notice.

    Dynamark customers with Ring video doorbells that were not installed by us should contact Ring with any questions about those products.

    Other issues with Ring products

    The recall notice issued by Ring is only the latest among several issues that have plagued the company’s products over the past two years.  As we detailed on our blog in September 2019, there was a lot of controversy about the company’s partnerships with police departments around the country, which allowed those police departments to access video recordings from doorbell cameras stored on Amazon’s servers.  The concern was that this could lead to innocent people deemed “suspicious” by a neighbor having their images added to databases of suspected criminals.

    Shortly after that story broke, it came out that Ring was sharing user’s data with other tech companies like Facebook and Google, which only added to the privacy concern surrounding their products.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was a rash of incidents where hackers were able to access the cameras of Ring users and record video footage from inside the user’s homes.  In some videos that went viral, the hackers actually communicated with the homeowners through the microphone and speakers in the cameras.  Ring blamed the problem on users not changing the default password on their cameras, but they nonetheless were forced to add additional security features to their products as a result of the incidents.

    Aside from the hacking incidents and privacy violations, many Ring users complained that their doorbells were giving them numerous false motion alerts due to trees blowing in the wind or animals moving in front of the camera.

    Alternatives to Ring

    Due to all the issues outlined above, Dynamark Security no longer recommends Ring video doorbells.  Instead, as an alternative we recommend a security camera pointed at your front door that uses video analytics from Alarm.com.  This essentially provides you with the same benefits as a video doorbell–i.e., alerts when a person is at your front door–without all the drawbacks like privacy violations and false alarms.

    Contact us if you are interested in learning more about this alternative to video doorbells.