April 24, 1978  
Release # 78-026

WASHINGTON, DC (Apr. 24) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today warned consumers that certain manually operated gas valves, imported since 1976 may leak, creating the possibility of fire or explosion in the home.

Hundreds of thousands of these valves have been distributed nationwide.

The suspect gas valves, used to shut off the gas supply to gas appliances, have reportedly been involved in two fires and 15 gas leaks in Sacramento County, California. The CPSC staff is currently investigating these reports and attempting to identify all importers of the gas valves.

According to Commission staff, the defective valves, all manufactured in Taiwan, are believed to have been imported and distributed by a number of firms since early 1976. The valves can be identified by the number "3/4" or "l/2" stamped on the side of the unit and the word "Taiwan" on the unit's washer. However, gas valves manufactured in Taiwan by other companies could bear similar identification.

If you live in a house built or remodeled since early 1976 which uses gas appliances or in a home where new gas appliances have been installed, check your gas lines to see if one of the defective valves has been used. If you are not sure where to look for the valves, contact your builder, gas appliance installer or local gas company for help. You should call your local gas company if you suspect one of the defective valves is in your house or if you smell gas.

Anyone aware of a fire or gas leak stemming from a defective valve should report the incident to CPSC's toll-free hotline by calling 800/638-2772.