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April 18, 1995

Release # 95-104
CPSC: Karen Kraushaar
(301) 504-0580, Ext. 1187

CPSC, Fireplace Technologies Announce Free Retrofit Kit

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Fireplace Technologies Inc., of Louisville, Ky., is announcing a program to provide free kits to modify approximately 36,000 LockTop Fireplace Damper and Cap sets. The vent dampers might close if soot builds up and results in chimney fire. This could force smoke and flue gases back into the house, which may present a risk of death or injury from inhalation of smoke and carbon monoxide.

Although no injuries have been reported, CPSC is aware of two incidents in which the vent closed during chimney fires, potentially exposing consumers to hazardous smoke and carbon monoxide.

The box-shaped LockTop Fireplace Damper and Cap is 8 inches tall and has a hollow square, cast aluminum base ranging in size from 8 inches by 8 inches to 17 inches by 17 inches, depending on the model. The product's collapsible sides are connected to a solid cast aluminum lid.

The device can be permanently mounted to the top of a chimney and functions as both a damper and a chimney cap. The products were sold through chimney sweeps and wood fuel appliance contractors from December 1989 to the present.

Consumers who have a LockTop Fireplace Damper and Cap sets should contact the chimney sweep or contractor who installed the unit or call Fireplace Technologies at (800) 737-1067 for a free retrofit kit. The retrofit kit will be installed at no cost to the consumer and will prevent the vent from closing during chimney fires. All new LockTop Fireplace Damper and Cap sets purchased after May 15, 1995 will have the kit permanently incorporated into the unit.

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 obtain this release and recall information or report product hazards to