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2 Model BR1500MS Caught Fire | Back-UPS & Surge Protectors

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2 Model BR1500MS Caught Fire

Discussion in Back-UPS & Surge Protectors started by Kris , 9/20/2019 4:16 PM
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Posted in: General

2 Model BR1500MS Caught Fire

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  • Back in April, we had 2 new BR1500MS units that caught fire at a customer site within 4 months of each other.  The fire was put out before it caused damage to the building but the customer has major concerns and is removing all the APC units.  We reached out to APC and they told us the following:

    "As of the moment, you can tell your clients about the possible cause, the MOV (internal component) of the APC unit might be burned out that causes the problem, it might be on the high voltage that came from the outlet or the component is being defective itself. Further examination will be done for your unit in a couple of weeks."

    It has been months now and we still haven't heard back on the final outcome of the cause of the fire.  Has anyone run into similar issues with this model during this time frame?  It seems strange that our customer would be the only one that this happened to if there was a defect with the model.  

    We also wanted to make others customers aware that we had this happen so they could take any necessary precautions as well.

  • Recently had a client report a model BX1350M was smoking when entry to the building for the morning. So if left could have easily caught fire. This is very odd to me as I have used APC items for a long time. I saw this post searching for anyone else with a similar or the same issue and thought I would reply.

    Also I figured it could not hurt to see if APC ever returned any additional information?

  • Hi,

    You should contact local support. They should replace the unit and take it back for investigation. 

    Local support contact information will be found at this link.


    You may need to change the region in the upper left of the contact us web page. 

  • I received a prompt replacement from APC when my first BR1500ms popped, smoked, and died.   Unfortunately, about 2 weeks after receiving the replacement, the same thing happened.    Nothing was happening when it popped.   No suggestion of a power surge.   I've used that outlet with regular surge suppressors for years with no trouble.   Is this a problem with this model ?   I don't want to just get the same model again....



  • Hi Duncan,

    Can you send me you case number from support and I can have a look?


  • I am having the same problem. My first unit dies within a week, I got a replacement unit and it died today, less than two weeks from the first failure. I was sitting here this time and it popped and black acrid smoke came pouring out. The smell in my house from these two events is nauseating. But more important, there seems ot be a design defect here. Read the reviews on some of the retail web sites and it seems that this failure may be very common. I now have a third unit being delivered. the test date on my first unit was late July 2020, the last unit was June 21, 2020. I don't know if there has been a design change to this model but if there is, I would really like the latest version. My fear is I am going to be in an endless cycle of APC sending me replacements only to have them fail within a few weeks and doing it all over again.

  • I bought a BR1500MS in June 2020 and all was fine until this past Friday morning.  I noticed the familiar smell of burning electronics and then a pop sound.  It dropped power to all connected devices, displayed the F02 error code and began smoking.  Luckily, I was sitting right here and was able to quickly unplug everything before it may have caught fire. It has a very light load on it. 1 desktop, 1 laptop, 2 monitors (battery backup outlets) and 1 printer (surge protected outlet).

    I bought the unit from Amazon and found several product reviews voicing the same complaint.

    I contacted Support and since it was still under warranty, they authorized a replacement unit to be shipped.  I hope to have the replacement by the end of the week, but now I'm beginning to question my decision about buying this unit.  I should have paid more attention to the bad customer reviews.

    The one question I failed to ask is if the replacement unit will have a new 3-year warranty or if it picks up from the original June 2020 purchase date.

  • I just had the same problem on one of the two I have.  The process for the F02 error is to turn the unit off and disconnect everything then turn it back on to test which device was causing the problem.  

    When I turned mine on, I got sparking and a strong burning smell.

    Two days after that incident with the battery removed, I tried again.  Now all it does is go to the F02 error after 10 seconds.  I can remove the battery and turn it on and the display will stay on.  It appears the Battery part of the unit has failed..

    It is only 8 months old but has been in service only about 5 months.  I am currently waiting to hear back regarding the service claim..  Since this was reported on Jan 20, 2021, maybe it will take more time..

    Thanks ..

  • When mine burned up last Nov. 6, I contacted support via the online chat.  After answering a few basic questions, they authorized sending me a replacement unit which I received on Nov. 12.  I used that packaging to return the defective unit.

    The replacement unit is still working, so far, but it's only been a little more than 2 months so I am not willing claim victory quite yet.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks Gary, I just completed that process and the RMA is in the works.  It did appear the chat agent did not have access to the Case number already set up.

    My other unit has been in service longer and is my backup for my gaming computer.  The bad system had a very light load.  Maybe light loads are involved with some failures.  Perhaps letting the system run on Battery, in addition to is normal checks, for some time every now and then, might help keep it functional.

    Thanks Again,


  • Mine also has a very light load - 80 watts or less.  Two PCs, two monitors plugged into battery backup outlets and 1 LJ printer plugged into a surge protected only outlet.

  • Since I replaced my second unit in only a few weeks due to the fire and F02 fault in mid October this third unit has been running flawlessly. It has been threw a couple of power outages and several line events as registered by the unit but is still hanging in there (knock on wood). I also run a very light load; PC, monitor, Router, Wireless AP.

  • My 1.5yr old APC BR1500MS also blew up with sparks and smoke yesterday with F01 fault (overload on output) and then F02 (solid state component damage) . They are apparently replacing it under warranty with a new version BR1500MS2 and want the burnt one back.  They obviously know there is a problem and should have done a recall. It could have burnt my house down if no one was home.  Anyone having an incident like this with an APC UPS should report it to CPSC US or CPSD Canada.  

    I am an Electrical Engineer and have never been scared of any electronics in my home before because the the 120VAC supply is fused, but a UPS has a really big battery to supply power to a shorted output stage. Field Effect Transistors (FETs) are notorious for failing shorted.

    Really scary situation....

  • Well, the warranty replacement unit APC sent me Nov 2020, died last evening the same way the original one did - loud "pop" a puff of smoke and the unmistakable smell of burning electronics.  Again, glad I was sitting here so I could immediately disconnect it.

    I emailed customer support and told them I wanted my money back and not another replacement unit.  Time to look for another brand.  I'll have to wait and see how they reply.

    I've had various APC units over the years and never had problems like this. Very disappointing.

  • I was finally able to get in touch with APC support via online chat.  I requested a refund since the second BR1500MS burned up and died.  Since I purchased it from Amazon, they will not refund my money but will honor the original 3-year warranty.  They are replacing it with the "upgraded" BR1500MS2.

    I went back to Amazon to update my review and discovered that the product page could no longer be found. surprised

    I suspect that they had significant failures of the BR1500MS but rather than issuing a recall or notifying customers of the problem, they redesigned the unit and called it BR1500MS2.  Time will tell.

  • The replacement BR1500MS2 was delivered and I connected it today.  I hope it lasts longer than the last 2 model BR1500MS units did.  Only time will tell.

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