Some older corrugated metal tubes used to connect home appliances to natural gas supply pipes could corrode leading to a fire or explosion, according to Chairman Ann Brown of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These connectors are used most often with gas ranges, ovens and clothes dryers.
"The CPSC has received 200 reports of these connectors failing," Brown said. "These failed connectors have been associated with 35 deaths and 59 injuries. We are urging people to have their gas appliances inspected to see if they have one of these old, potentially dangerous connectors."
The connectors the CPSC is warning consumers about are older, uncoated, brass connectors, which have not been made for at least the past 10 years. The brass fittings on these connectors which attach the connector to the natural gas supply pipe and the appliance, were soldered onto a corrugated brass tube. The CPSC believes that the solder can fail, causing a break in the connector and resulting in a gas leak.
Many of these connectors may still be in use, and the CPSC is warning consumers to have their connectors inspected. Because it is very difficult to tell just by looking at it whether a connector has been soldered, the CPSC recommends that ANY uncoated brass connector be replaced immediately by a new stainless steel connector or a new plastic-coated brass connector.
The CPSC warns consumers not to move their appliances in an effort to inspect the connectors themselves. The connector should be inspected only by a professional service provider. These older brass connectors with weak, soldered connections could break if moved, leading to an explosion or fire. Moving an appliance, even slightly, if only to clean behind it, could cause a weakened connector to fail.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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