November 6, 2002
CPSC Reminds Consumers to Check for
Recalled Cadet In-Wall Heaters
- Previous Articles:
Warns of Possible Fire Hazards and Prepares for Recall of Wall Heaters
Cadet and Encore Brand
In-Wall Heaters Recall
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to
examine their in-wall electric heaters to determine if they are among the
1.9 million Cadet and Encore brand heaters recalled in February 2000.
Although the Cadet Manufacturing Co. heaters were sold and distributed
primarily in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from about
1978 through 2000, some of the heaters were sold in other states. A
four-year old boy died on September 14, 2002, in Alexandria, Va., when one
of the recalled Cadet heaters allegedly was involved in a house fire.
CPSC strongly urges consumers to stop using these heaters and have them
replaced if they have one of the recalled models. Consumers who had their
heaters repaired under Cadet's original program in 1997 still need to get
their heaters replaced. Consumers are advised to contact the Cadet
informational Hotline or visit their website www.cadetco.com for where to
buy replacement heaters.
The brand and model are located on a label on the front of the heat box,
behind the grill. Before removing the grill to check the identification
label, consumers must turn off the power supply to the heater at the
electrical panel board (circuit breaker or fuse box). If power is not turned
off, consumers risk electrocution.
CPSC alleged that these Cadet and Encore brand in-wall electric heaters are
defective and can overheat and catch fire. Flames, sparks, or molten
particles can spew through the front grill cover of the heater into the
living area of a residence, putting consumers at risk from fires, including
burn injuries, smoke inhalation, and property damage. The heaters and their
grills also can become energized, creating a risk of electric shock.
CPSC is aware of more than 320 reports of heaters that smoked, sparked,
caught fire, emitted flames, or ejected burning particles or molten
materials. These incidents have allegedly resulted in four deaths, two
serious burn injuries and property damage claims exceeding $4.3 million,
which includes six partial or total house fires.
In January 1999, CPSC filed a lawsuit against Cadet to compel it to recall
the heaters. Cadet filed for bankruptcy the same month. Working with the
company and its creditors, on February 17, 2000, CPSC and Cadet announced a
settlement of the lawsuit and a recall of the heaters. Cadet agreed to make
new heaters available to Cadet owners at significantly reduced prices.
However, due to Cadet's bankruptcy, the opportunity to obtain discounted
heaters expired on February 17, 2002.
Since the heaters pose a fire hazard until they are replaced, consumers
should have at least one fully operational smoke detector on every floor of
their home, especially near bedrooms. To ensure that the detector's
batteries are working, test the detector every month. Consumers also should
have a well-defined and rehearsed escape plan and an alternate escape plan
in the event of a fire. These recommendations and more are covered in "Your
Home Fire Safety Checklist" (a pdf version is also available). You can also
have a free copy mailed to you by writing to CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.
For more information about the recall, contact Cadet's informational Hotline
at (800) 567-2613 anytime or visit the firm's website at www.cadetco.com.