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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 1997

Release # 97-116
CPSC: Ken Giles
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1184

CPSC, Chamberlain Group Announce Recall to Repair Garage Door Openers in Puerto Rico

Washington, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Chamberlain Group Inc. of Elmhurst, Ill., is announcing a recall to inspect and repair about 6,000 Sears Craftsman garage door openers used on swinging or sliding garage doors in Puerto Rico that were not installed by a Sears authorized installer. If installed improperly, the garage door openers' safety reversal system may not operate properly, posing a potential entrapment hazard.

The Chamberlain Group is aware of a 4-year old boy in Puerto Rico who died from being caught in a swinging door operated by a Sears Craftsman garage door opener when the safety reversing sensor did not operate.

This inspection/repair program is limited to Puerto Rico, where swinging or sliding doors are used extensively. The program does not apply to overhead doors. The program is further limited to those swinging or sliding garage door openers that have not been installed by Sears authorized installers and, therefore, may have been installed improperly. When improperly installed, the swinging or sliding garage doors will not reverse when they hit an obstruction such as a car or a child.

The garage door openers have model numbers beginning with 139.65XXX and 139.53XXX located on the right side panel of the opener chassis near the force adjustment controls. Sears stores throughout Puerto Rico sold the garage door openers from 1980 through 1993 for about $150 to $220.

Sears is sending letters to all customers in Puerto Rico known to have purchased the garage door opener. Consumers who purchased these door openers for swinging or sliding doors, but did not have them installed by a Sears authorized installer should test the garage door opener's safety reversal system according to instructions in the Owner's Manual. Consumers should allow the door to close on the narrow side of a 2-inch by 4-inch piece of wood held in its path. Consumers should not place themselves in the path of the swinging or sliding door!

If the door does not reverse within two seconds of touching the piece of wood, disconnect the garage door opener and immediately contact Sears toll-free at 800-473-7247. Sears will arrange for an inspection and, if necessary, rework of the installation free of charge.

Chamberlain and Sears remind consumers to follow safety instructions in the Owner's Manual to check the safety reversal system monthly. If you adjust the force or travel limit controls, you must check the safety reversal system again. CPSC knows of approximately 60 children between the ages of 2 and 14 who were trapped and killed under overhead automatic garage doors since March 1982. No matter what type of garage door you own, CPSC reminds consumers to always operate the garage door opener only when the door is in full view and free from any obstruction. Keep the door in sight until it is completely closed. No one should cross the path of the moving door.

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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