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THE SAFETY ZONE | TODAY'S TIPS

Handle Hazards on Infant Carriers Prompt Recall

October 30, 2000

A recall has been announced involving 4 million infant car seats and carriers.

When the seat is used as an infant carrier, the handle can break. An infant inside the carrier can fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.

The break can happen unexpectedly and the seat can drop to the ground, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The manufacturer, Ohio-based Century Products, is providing new handles for the carriers.

Century has received more than 2,700 reports of handle-related problems, including handles breaking, cracking or not locking while the seat is being used as a carrier.

Century has also received more than 200 reports of injury--including concussions, skull fractures, lacerations, broken bones, bruises and scratches--as a result of such handle-related problems, according to the commission.

The recall involves all Century rear-facing infant car seats/carriers with one-piece handles manufactured from January 1991 to July 1997.

The date of manufacture, written as month, day, year (010191 through 073197), can be found on a label on the side of the seat. The recalled car seats/carriers have a molded, one-piece, one-color plastic handle colored white, gray or tan.

Century will provide consumers a free, easy-to-install replacement handle. Consumers should not carry the seat by the handle until it has been replaced. Consumers can continue to use the product as a car seat.

To receive a free replacement handle, call Century toll-free at (800) 865-1419 any time, or visit Century's Web site at http://www.centuryproducts.com. Consumers should have the car seat in front of them when they call.

Consumers with questions about this recall campaign should call the commission's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit its Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.

Model of First Alert Fire Extinguishers Can Fail to Discharge

BRK Brands Inc. of Aurora, Ill., is voluntarily recalling about 600,000 First Alert household fire extinguishers.

The extinguishers can fail to discharge when the trigger is activated, which puts consumers at risk of fire-related injuries.

Federal regulators and BRK have received five reports from consumers of the fire extinguishers failing to discharge when activated. No injuries have been reported.

Only First Alert model FE1A10G with serial numbers beginning with RH, RK, RL, RP, RT, RU or RW is included in this recall.

The serial number is on the extinguisher's label, above the model number in a rectangular box. "First Alert" is written on the units' label and pressure gauge.

The fire extinguishers are either red or white. Home centers, mass merchandisers and hardware stores nationwide sold the fire extinguishers from September 1999 to September 2000 for $9 to $15.

Consumers with recalled fire extinguishers should immediately contact First Alert at (866) 669-2736 any time or visit the First Alert Web site at http://

www.firstalert.com/more_information/index.htm to receive a coupon for a new extinguisher.

Source: Consumer Products Safety Commission

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