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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Kathleen Begala
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1193
March 1, 1994
Release # 94-039

L. Powell Company Inc. Begins Repair Program For Children's Tubular Metal Bunk Beds

PRODUCT: Approximately 23,400 distinctive C-shaped tubular metal frame children's bunk beds distributed to stores nationwide by the L. Powell Company, Inc. from June 1992 through March 31, 1993. The beds are models 440 (red), 446 (white), 447 (blue), and 448 (black). They use a twin-size mattress on the top and a full-size mattress on the bottom. They have C-shaped headboard and footboard frames, partial guard rails on both sides of the upper bunk, and a middle leg on the side rail of the bottom bunk. Powell's other beds are not affected.

PROBLEM: These "C" beds may unexpectedly collapse. Bed occupants could be injured by the falling upper bunk. CPSC is investigating the collapse of similar beds imported by others.

WHAT TO DO: Stop using the bed or place both bunks on the floor immediately; inspect all eight mattress support corners; then call Powell's special toll-free number, 1-800-258-1431, weekdays between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern time for a free corner kit designed to reinforce the bed and prevent collapse.

WASHINGTON, DC -- The L. Powell Company Inc., Culver City, CA, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily providing a free corner kit to reinforce certain distinctive C-shaped children's tubular metal bunk beds imported and distributed by the company. According to Powell, the upper bunk on these beds could fall suddenly --usually after squeaking or creaking that consumers may not recognize as warning sounds -- causing the bunk bed to collapse. Powell's action responds to a CPSC bunk bed industry safety alert. The Powell Company has received 36 reports of "C" beds collapsing, including five reports of injury. Powell imported and distributed about 23,400 "C" beds to stores from June 1992 through March 31, 1993. A large percentage of the beds were sold by Pace Membership Warehouse, Inc. and Costco Wholesale.

Powell is one of the largest distributors of children's tubular metal bunk beds. This action is being taken due to the firm's strong commitment to consumer safety. No other Powell beds are affected by this repair program.

The bunk beds subject to this program -- models 440 (red), 446 (white), 447 (blue), and 448 (black) -- have metal frames made of hollow, glossy painted tubes, with a twin-size mattress on the top bunk and a larger, full-size mattress on the bottom bunk. In addition, the beds have the following identifying features:

  • the head and foot end frames are designed in a distinctive C shape;
  • a middle leg is attached to the center of the side rail of the bottom bunk;
  • there is a partial guard rail on each side of the upper bunk;
  • a gold "Warning" label is located on the top of the C-shaped end frame at the head or foot of the bed;the letters "FR" followed by a date code (month and year) are located on one of the two bed end frames or bunk side rails (only beds with date codes before April 1993 (4 93) are included in this program); and
  • Powell's address, "P.O. Box 1408, Culver City, CA 90232-1408," and the bed model number appear in the instructions and on the packaging.

Any consumer who has one of these beds should immediately stop using it as a bunk bed. The bed can be used temporarily if both bunks are placed on the floor. The consumer should inspect all eight mattress support corners for breaks or cracks in the metal or paint around the welds and then call Powell's special toll-free number, 1-800-258- 1431, weekdays between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Any consumer who has a "C" bed made before April 1993 will receive a corner kit free of charge. The kit is designed to reinforce the bed and prevent collapse and has been tested by CPSC.

CPSC is investigating numerous other importers and manufacturers of metal bunk beds that may present a similar risk of collapsing. To date, bed suppliers industry-wide have received more than 400 complaints of collapsing bunk beds. CPSC urges consumers to inspect all eight mattress support corners of all metal bunk beds for breaks or cracks in the paint or metal around the welds. Consumers should stop using damaged bunk beds and contact the retailer, manufacturer, or importer. To assist CPSC in its continuing industry-wide bunk bed investigation, consumers are urged to call the CPSC toll-free hotline weekdays at 1-800-638-2772 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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