June 22, 2011 -- In the middle of a Father's Day celebratory dinner in their back yard, the Passerella family's glass-topped patio table shattered into a thousand pieces.
"The table blew up. Literally, it just imploded," Nancy Passerella of Denver told the ABC News affiliate, KMGH.
Soon dinner was on the floor, covered with shards of glass. While the family didn't suffer any injuries, Rick Paserella says they were lucky. "There could have been kids down lower and could've gotten faces cut. You just don't know."
The table is part of the Martha Stewart Everyday Living patio set -- it's not the first Martha Stewart glass patio table to suddenly shatter.
About 2,010 complaints since 2003 have been submitted to ConsumerAffairs.com describing a "disintegrating" table.
Here's information about the shattering table and four other products with the potential to explode.
1. Martha Stewart Everyday Living patio glass table
The Martha Stewart patio glass table has not been sold in stores since 2009 when Martha Stewart Omnimedia terminated its licensing relationship with K-Mart.
Martha Stewart Omnimedia issued a statement about the glass table:
'We take product quality and safety very seriously. We insist that all our products meet or exceed relevant safety and quality standards aimed at protecting and serving consumers. While we as a company are focused primarily on aesthetic design, we work closely with our merchandising and vendor partners, who are responsible for technical specifications and manufacturing, to comply with those standards. If customers have any questions about these particular tables, they should contact Kmart customer relations at 866-562-7848."
K-Mart also issued a statement, directing customers to that phone number and stating that the company "takes consumer product safety very seriously and we believe that these tables are safe."
2. Glass Bakeware
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received reports about exploding glass bakeware. The commission conducted an investigation in 2008 and concluded the product was safe when used directed. There has not been a recall of the product.
Alex Filip, CPSC spokesman, said he had an incident while cooking with his Pyrex dish incorrectly last Thanksgiving. Filip tried to cook gravy on the stovetop and said he knew he was breaking instructions in doing so.
"I knew that from a kid – don't put glass on the stovetop," he said. "Sure enough, right in the middle of making gravy, the thing exploded," he said.
Filip said no one was injured though his sons were hungry for gravy on their Thanksgiving turkey dinner. In response to consumer complaints on the CSPC website, World Kitchen, manufacturer of Pyrex bakeware states:
"At World Kitchen the safety of consumers is our highest priority. As part of our standard procedures, we follow up on reported incidents. We encourage consumers with any concerns about our products to contact us toll-free at 800-999-3436, or e-mail us using the "contact us" link on our website--www.pyrexware.com. The Safety & Usage Instructions for our products and other important product information are available at www.pyrexware.com."
The cookware company also offered tips to consumers:
All glass bakeware can experience thermal breakage if exposed to sudden or uneven temperature changes. You can avoid the most common causes of thermal breakage by following four simple rules:
1. Always place hot glass bakeware on a dry, cloth potholder or towel. Never place hot glass bakeware on top of the stove, on a metal trivet, on a damp towel, directly on a counter or in a sink. 2. Never put glass bakeware directly on a burner or under a broiler. 3. Always allow the oven to fully preheat before placing glass bakeware in the oven. 4. Always cover the bottom of the dish with liquid before cooking meat or vegetables.
3. Gel fuel pots
Michael Hubbard, 14, received third degree burns on his face when a ceramic fire pot blew up at his home in Long Island, N.Y., in May.
The manufacturer, Napa Home and Garden, issued a precautionary hold on sales of its gel burners and gel fuels in response to recent reports of injuries from its products.
The CPSC initiated an investigation, which is still open and active.
"CPSC staff recommends that consumers never refuel a hot product as this can create a serious situation of the fuel splattering and burning those nearby," according to a CPSC statement. "Adding fuel to an open-flame is a potentially hazardous activity, with a risk of burns and uncontrolled fires."
4. Sparklers and bottle rockets
Last year, 8,600 consumers ended up in hospital emergency rooms due to injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks, according to the CPSC. From popular sparklers, bottle rockets and small firecrackers alone, 1,900 injured consumers were sent to emergency rooms last year during the 30 days surrounding July 4 celebrations.
And 40 percent of those injuries occur to children younger than 15.
"From purchase to ignition, know how you and your family can stay safe and which fireworks are allowed in your state if fireworks are part of your July 4th celebration," said CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum in a statement. "Never assume that a fireworks device is safe based on its size and never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. By knowing the dangers of all types of fireworks, consumers can prevent tragedies."
5. Children's Aromatherapy Kit
Who would have thought a children's toy intended to bring peace and calm could have "explosion and projectile hazards?"
In October, the CPSC, in cooperation with toy company JAKKS Pacific, reannounced the recall of 516,000 Spa Factory Aromatherapy Fountain & Bath Benefits Kits, originally recalled in January 2009.
As of October 2010, the CPSC received 100 reports of exploding jars of JAKKS' Bath Bombs/Balls or Bath Fizzies, including 26 injuries to children. The injuries included irritated eyes, skin and one eye injury.
The CPSC advises consumers should immediately take the toy's jars and caps without vent holes away from children, dispose of any jar lids without vent holes and contact JAKKS Pacific to receive free jar lids with vent holes.
Contact JAKKS toll-free at (877) 875-2557 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, visit the firm's website at www.myspafactory.com or email the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org