FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
November 6, 1978  
Release # 78-089
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 6) - The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced an agreement with the Pittway Corp., Northbrook, Ill., doing business as BRK Electronics, whereby Pittway has agreed to pay $100,000 in settlement of a civil penalty action which the Commission had decided to file. The agreement was negotiated between Pittway and CPSC staff and accepted by the Commission on Nov. 1.

The Commission's action against Pittway concerned the company's alleged failure to report a defect in the BRK SS749 series smoke detectors which could cause such products to fail to operate and, in certain instances, to catch fire. The defect consisted of incorrectly rated resistors used in the SS749 smoke detectors produced by the BRK Electronics division of Pittway from March 1974 to September 26,1975. The Consumer Product Safety Act requires a manufacturer to notify the Commission immediately after learning of a defect which could create a substantial product hazard. In agreeing to a settlement of this matter, the Pittway Corporation has neither admitted nor denied violating the notification requirements of the Act.

The company has cooperated in voluntarily carrying out an extensive program to recall the approximately 115,000 smoke detectors involved. Thus far, approximately 60,000 smoke detectors have been returned. The company has agreed to continue, and to intensify, its efforts to locate the remaining smoke detectors.

The units subject to this recall are 110 volt AC-powered detectors which sold for a suggested retail price of $39.95. No battery-powered detectors are involved. Some models were manufactured with ordinary power cords (line cord) which plug into wall outlets, others have pigtail leads (hard wire) for installation directly into electric wiring. The detectors were marketed by BRK, American Machine & Foundry (AMF), I-T-E Imperial Corporation (I-T-E) and Sears, Roebuck & Company (Sears). They have the following model numbers:

 

BRK SS749AC (hard wire)
SS749ACS (hard wire)
SS749L (line cord)
SS749SL (line cord)
AMF 2000AC (hard wire)
2000ACL (line cord)
I-T-E ITOl-AC (hard wire)
Sears 9-57049 (hard wire)
9-57047 (line cord)
9-57048 (line cord)

 

Homeowners who suspect they have one of these smoke detectors are urged to check the model number on their unit. (Caution: Before inspecting-hard-wired detectors, electrical power to the unit must be turned off at the fuse box or circuit breaker; line cord detectors must be unplugged before inspection). Once the power is off o remove the cover and examine the side of the plastic base for a label which contains the model number.

Anyone who has one of the Sears units affected by this recall should contact the nearest Sears store, which will arrange for inspection and free replacement of the unit containing the defect. People who believe they have any of the other detectors under recall should contact BRK to obtain a fact sheet, which gives very specific criteria for identifying potentially defective units, as well as replacement instructions.

Additional information concerning the recall can be obtained by contacting BRK Electronics, 780 McClure Avenue, Aurora, Illinois 60507, Attention: Dennis Wm. Clair, Project 749 Director; or by calling toll-free 800/323-9005 and asking for the Project 749 Department.