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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kathleen Begala
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1193
December 13, 1993
Release # 94-024

Southern Enterprises, Inc. Offers Reinforcement Bracket For Children's Tubular Metal Bunk Beds

PRODUCT: Approximately 6,000 high gloss, tubular metal frame, twin size/full size children's bunkbeds, Southern Enterprises, Inc. (SEI) #BB-104-2 (red), BB- 105-2 (white), BB-106-2 (blue), and BB-107-2 (black) sold from January 1990 to present. (Twin size on top; full size on bottom). All beds subject to this program have rectangular mattress support side rails measuring 3/4-inch by 1-1/2 inches.

PROBLEM: The bunkbed may unexpectedly collapse during use. Bed occupants may be injured by the falling upper bunk.

WHAT TO DO: Stop using affected beds immediately. To determine if you have an SEI bed, contact the retailer for information on the importer or manufacturer of the bed. Consumers with affected SEI beds should call the company toll-free at (800) 633-5096 for a free retrofit kit to reinforce the bed.

WASHINGTON, DC - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Southern Enterprises, Inc. (SEI), Dallas, TX, is voluntarily providing reinforcement brackets for certain children's tubular metal frame bunkbeds. The upper level can fall unexpectedly causing the bunkbed to collapse.

SEI has sold about 6,000 such beds since January 1990 in retail stores nationwide. The beds sold for approximately $150 to $300 each. SEI has received about 15 reports of these beds breaking, including 6 reports of alleged injury. SEI is offering free reinforcement brackets to avoid further incidents.

The bunkbeds subject to this program (models BB- 104-2, BB-105-2, BB-106-2, and BB-107-2) have metal frames made of hollow painted tubes. The glossy painted frame can be either red, blue, white or black. The beds use a standard twin-size mattress on the top bunk and either a twin or full-size mattress on the bottom bunk. The beds have 18 crossbars to support each mattress. The two rectangular mattress support side rails are 3/4-inch wide and 1-1/2 inches high and a metal ladder attaches to the side of the bed as a separate unit.

Consumers should immediately stop using affected beds as bunkbeds. To determine if you have a SEI bed, contact the retailer for information on the importer or manufacturer of the bed. Consumers with affected SEI beds should call the company toll-free at (800) 633- 5096. SEI is offering consumers a retrofit kit that will reinforce the upper bunk when assembled on the upper and lower corner joints.

The CPSC is investigating numerous other importers and manufacturers of metal bunk beds that may present a similar risk of collapsing. To date, firms have received over 300 complaints of defective bunk beds industry-wide. CPSC urges all consumers to inspect all eight mattress support corners of all metal bunk beds for breaks or cracks in the paint or metal around the weld. Consumers should stop using damaged bunk beds and contact the retailer, manufacturer, or importer. To assist CPSC in its continuing bunk bed investigations, consumers are urged to call the CPSC toll-free hotline weekdays at (800) 638-2772 to report incidents or injuries involving metal bunk beds. A teletypewriter for the hearing impaired is available at 1-800-638-8270.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to info@cpsc.gov.

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