home | about joe | joe's picks | helpful information | ask joe | contact | blog
Joe's Helpful Information

Joe prides himself on being an active consumer advocate. Here you will find timely information about safety concerns and product recalls. Be sure to check back often as this information is frequently updated!

 

Current Safety Concerns

Grilling Safety

Summer is officially here! Time to fire up those grills and get the barbeques going! But before you do, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to check their grills and "fire it up safely" to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Before lighting the grill, do a safety check.

  • Has your grill been recalled? Check SaferProducts.gov. If the grill has been recalled, contact the manufacturer and stop using it until you get a repair or replacement.
  • Visually inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing and that all connections are secure. Replace if necessary.
  • Check for propane gas leaks. Open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution with a brush at the connection point. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Try tightening the tank connection. If that does not stop the leak, close the gas valve and have the grill repaired by a qualified professional.
  • Is the grill clean? Regularly cleaning the grill, as described in the owner’s manual, and also cleaning the grease trap, will reduce the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.

Once the safety check is complete, make sure to operate the grill as safely as possible.

  • Use grills outside only in a well-ventilated area. Never use a grill indoors or in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or under a surface that will burn. Gas and charcoal grills present a risk of fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning that could result in injury or death. An estimated 3,800 gas or charcoal grill-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments in 2010. While almost all of the injuries were burns, a few of the charcoal grill injuries were related to carbon monoxide. There were an estimated average of eight CO-related deaths per year between 2005 and 2007 associated with charcoal grills that were used indoors or in enclosed spaces.
  • Never leave a grill unattended. If a flare-up occurs, adjust the controls on the gas grill or spread out the coals on a charcoal grill to lower the temperature. If a grease fire occurs, turn off the gas grill and use baking soda and or a kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
  • Keep the grill hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Keep children away from the grill area. The outside surface of a grill can get hot and burn when touched.

charcoal grilling safetyIf you are using a charcoal grill, remember these additional important safety tips:

  • Only use charcoal grills outside in the open air. Burning charcoal grills inside can kill you! It gives off carbon monoxide, which has no odor. Never burn charcoal inside tents, homes, campers, garages, or vehicles!
  • Extinguish coals safely! If your grill has a lid, close all vents and put the lid on the grill. Without the required oxygen, the coals will extinguish themselves in a short while. If the coals are too hot to be extinguished within 30 minutes or you need to extinguish them more quickly, spray water over all of the coals. Be careful not to stand directly over the coals, as hot steam will rise and cause burns. Continue spraying water until all of the embers are out or until the coals are covered. Allow to sit until completely cooled and dispose of the ash.

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
www.cpsc.gov


Current Product Recalls    

Name of Product: Gas powered STIHL trimmers, brushcutters, KombiMotors, hedge trimmers, edgers, clearing saws, pole pruners, and backpack blowers that utilize a toolless fuel cap

Recall Date: May 25, 2011

Manufacturer: STIHL Inc., of Virginia Beach, Va.

Hazard: The level of ethanol and other fuel additives can distort the toolless fuel cap, allowing fuel to spill, posing a fire and burn hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: STIHL has received 81 reports of difficulty installing and/or removing the fuel caps and fuel spillage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The following yard power tools with various model numbers are included in this recall:

STIHL Blower, backpackBlower, backpack -
Model #'s:
BR 500
BR 550
BR 600
BR 600 Magnum

Hedge Trimmer, extended reach
- Model #'s:
HL 90
HL 100
HL 110 K

Pole Pruner
- Model #'s:
HT 56 C-E
HT 100
HT 101
HT 130
HT 131

Trimmer/brushcutterEdger
- Model #'s:
FC 56 C-E
FC 70 C-E
FC 90
FC 95
FC 100
FC 110

Trimmer/Brushcutter
- Model #'s:
FS 40 C-E
FS 56 C-E
FS 56 RC-E
FS 70 RC-E
FS 90
FS 90 R
FS 100 RX
FS 110
FS 110 R
FS 110 RX
FS 130
FS 130 R

Clearing Saw - Model #'s:
FS 310

KombiEngine
- Model #'s:
KM 56 RC-E
KM 90 R
KM 110 R
KM 130 R

Sold at: Authorized STIHL dealers nationwide from July 2002 through May 2011 for between $190 and $650.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these products and return them to an authorized STIHL dealer for a free repair. Consumers can contact STIHL for instructions on identifying these toolless fuel caps.

Consumer Contact: Visit STIHL’s website: www.stihlusa.com for additional photos of the power tools involved and photos of the toolless fuel cap.

back to top

Lasko Box Fan


Name of Product:
Lasko Box Fans

Recall Date: March 24, 2011

Manufacturer: Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pa.

Hazard: An electrical failure in the fan's motor poses a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Lasko has received seven reports of fires associated with motor failures, including two house fires and one barn fire, resulting in extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Lasko box fans with model numbers 3720, 3723, and 3733 and Galaxy box fans with model number 4733 that have date "2002-03" or "2003-04" stamped on the bottom of the metal frame. "Lasko" or "Galaxy" is printed on the front of the fan. The model number is either stamped or printed on the bottom of the fans.

Sold at: Mass merchandisers nationwide from July 2002 through December 2005 for between $12 and $25.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fans and contact Lasko to receive a free fused plug safety adapter.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Lasko toll free at (877) 445-1314 anytime or visit the firm's website

back to top

 

Gerber Combo AxeName of Product: Gerber® Gator® Combo Axe

Recall Date: March 23, 2011

Importer: Gerber Legendary Blades, of Portland, Ore., a division of Fiskars Brands Inc., of Madison, Wis.

Hazard: The knife in the axe handle can come out when the axe is used for chopping or hammering, posing a laceration hazard to the user.

Incidents/Injuries: Gerber has received five reports of laceration injuries. All required stitches.

Description: This recall involves the Gerber Gator Combo Axe, which has a 7-inch knife in the hollow axe handle. The axe is approximately 8.75 inches long with an axe head that is 4.75 inches x 2.7 inches. The axe handle is marked with the "Gerber" trademark. The Gerber Combo Axe II, which holds a saw in a longer axe handle, is not included in this recall.

Sold at: Retail stores nationwide, including The Sportsman's Guide, Dick's Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops/American Rod & Gun and online since March 2005 for around $28 - $60.

Manufactured in: Taiwan

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the knife from the axe handle and contact Gerber to receive a free handle cap, which will hold the knife in the axe handle during transport and storage, instructions for the use of the handle cap, and a warning label to affix on the axe head.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Gerber Legendary Blades toll-free at (877) 314-9130 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website

back to top


Frontgate Ladder recall

Name of Product: Frontgate Closet Ladders

Recall Date: January 20, 2011

Retailer: Cinmar LLC dba Frontgate of West Chester, Ohio

Hazard: The ladders can unexpectedly break, posing a fall hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Cinmar has received about 860 reports of the ladders breaking, including 28 reports of injuries such as bruises and lacerations to the knees, shins, ankles and feet.

Description: This recall involves Frontgate foldaway closet two- and three-step ladders. The ladders are made of mahogany wood and designed for use in walk-in closets. Catalog item numbers included in the recall are 11998 for the two-step and 11675, 11975, 30269, 37935 and 40645 for the three-step ladder.

Sold at: Frontgate stores in Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio, in Frontgate and Sky Mall catalogs nationwide and on the Internet at Frontgate.com and Skymall.com from December 2005 through July 2010 for about between $90 and $150.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ladders and contact Frontgate for instructions on how to receive a merchandise credit for the amount of the ladder. Frontgate is directly contacting all known consumers.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact Frontgate at (888) 298-4651 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's recall website

back to top

 

Poulan Pro Generator recallName of Product: Poulan Pro Generators

Recall Date: January 20, 2011

Manufacturer: Husqvarna Professional Products Inc., of Charlotte, N.C.

Hazard: The carburetor can fail allowing gasoline to leak, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received four reports of fuel leakage. No injuries have been reported.

Poulan Pro Generator recallDescription: This recall involves gas-powered Poulan Pro Generators designed for residential use. Models included in the recall are: PP4300, PP6600, PP6600E and PP7600E, all serial numbers. The generator's model number can be found on the front of the fuel tank on the Serial Number Plate. The generators are black and marigold color, measure 21.5" H x 26.6" L x 21.3" range from 4.4 to 7.6 KW with two handles and two wheels.

Sold by: Poulan Pro and Husqvarna authorized dealers nationwide from July 2010 through September 2010 for between $600 and $1,000.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled generators and contact Husqvarna to arrange a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For more information or to schedule a free repair, contact Husqvarna toll-free at (877) 257-6921 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Consumers can also visit the firm's website.

 

back to top

 

Food Dehydrator recallName of Product: NESCO American Harvest Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

Recall Date: January 20, 2011

Manufacturer: The Metal Ware Corporation, of Two Rivers, Wisc.

Hazard: A defective capacitor in the electronic control module can overheat, posing a smoke and fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: NESCO received three reports of overheating resulting in smoke or fire. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled product includes a base with stackable trays to place food. The top of the unit houses the electronic control module. Model number FD-1020 and production date codes: 09E 0610; 09E 0624; and 09E 0903 are molded into the underside of the dehydrator's electronic control module.

Food Dehydrator recallSold at: National mass merchandisers and retailers and online at www.nesco.com and other websites from July 2009 to January 2011 for about $140.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact NESCO for instructions on how to receive a free electronic control module.

Consumer Contact: For more information, contact NESCO at (800) 726-4457 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website

 

back to top

 

White-Rodgers Recalled ThermostatProduct: White-Rodgers Programmable Thermostats

Recall Date: January 12, 2011

Manufacturer: White-Rodgers of St. Louis, Mo.

Hazard: The programmable thermostats constantly charge the backup AA batteries used to power the thermostat’s clock. This can cause the batteries to leak, resulting in a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm is aware of three incidents involving minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves all White-Rodgers programmable thermostats with model numbers 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275 and date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039. The model number is printed on the thermostat’s front pull-down panel door. The date code is located inside the removable front cover. White-Rodgers and/or the utility company’s name and logo are printed on the front of the thermostat. These thermostats were able to be controlled by power companies in homes that took part in energy demand reduction programs.

Distributed by: More than 40 utility companies to consumers nationwide who took part in energy conservation programs and by various HVAC wholesalers for about $150.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the two AA batteries from the thermostat and contact White-Rodgers for a free repair kit. If battery removal causes changes in furnace operation, contact White-Rodgers.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact White-Rodgers toll-free at (888) 624-1901 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website

Note: Health Canada's press release is available by clicking here

back to top

askjoegagnon.com © Joe Gagnon. All Rights Reserved
home | about joe | joe's picks |helpful information | ask joe | contact | blog
S