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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 1996

Release # 97-038
CPSC: Ken Giles
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1184

CPSC and Tensor Corp. Announce Recall to Replace 500-Watt Halogen Bulbs

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Tensor Corporation of Chelsea, Mass., is voluntarily recalling approximately 100,000 500-watt tubular halogen bulbs sold in 50,000 torchiere-style lamps. The bulbs may shatter during use, presenting a fire hazard when hot fragments of the shattered bulb land on nearby combustible materials, such as furniture, bedding, newspaper or carpet.

Tensor is aware of 281 incidents of bulbs shattering resulting in at least six burn injuries and some small fires. Three fires resulted in more than $25,000 in damage. The halogen torchiere floor lamps, measuring 71 inches tall, have a round base, a three part pole, and a shallow, bowl-shaped shade. A small round switch located on the lamp's pole enables consumers to adjust the bulb's brightness. The model number "LT609N" or "LT609P" and a manufacturing plant code appear on stickers on the bottom of the lamp base.

Montgomery Ward and Electric Ave. & More stores sold the lamps nationwide from October 1995 through April 1996 for about $20. Each lamp was packaged with one installed bulb and some were sold with a second replacement bulb. The affected bulbs were manufactured in China. Tensor lamps sold before October 1995 are not included in this bulb recall, and lamps sold after April 1996 contain the 300-watt replacement bulbs.

Consumers should immediately discard the affected 500-watt bulbs. Consumers should retrieve the date of purchase, the model number, and manufacturing code from the bottom of the lamp base, then call Tensor's Customer Service toll-free number at (888) 564-4424. After verifying that the caller's lamp contains an affected bulb, Tensor will provide a free 300-watt tubular halogen replacement bulb for each 500-watt bulb included with the lamp.

Earlier this year, Tensor and Montgomery Ward initiated a replacement program for 500-watt bulbs in response to the withdrawal of Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) listing of torchiere floor lamps equipped with 500-watt bulbs because of their flammability potential.

Thousands of consumers have already received their free 300-watt replacement bulb. No further action is needed by consumers who participated in this earlier replacement program.

While Tensor is replacing 500-watt bulbs with 300-watt bulbs, CPSC warns that most halogen torchiere lamp bulbs, which burn at very high temperatures, can start a fire if they come in contact with curtains, clothes, or other flammable material. Although replacing 500-watt bulbs with 300-watt bulbs will decrease the chance of the bulbs shattering, consumers should still keep the 300-watt bulbs away from combustibles in order to avoid fires.

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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