FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
November 1, 1984  
Release # 84-064
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fimco, Inc., of Sioux City, Iowa, today announced that it will voluntarily provide safety kits to modify the handles of its approximately 14,150 electric pressure washers purchased before January 1984. The affected washers, which pump water under high pressure to clean porches, houses, motor vehicles, outdoor power equipment or farm equipment, were sold nationally under the "Big Butch" trade name by various retailers and under the Sears brand name through Sears catalogs.

There have been no injuries or deaths involving the Fimco machines; however; the Commission is aware of 10 electrocutions associated with other electric pressure washers.

The washer does not present a hazard if operated according to instructions, according to Fimco. However, the metal handle or other exposed metal part could become electrically charged if the machine is not properly grounded and a fault occurs. Such fault could occur if an improper or faulty extension cord is used, if the connection between the power cord and an extension cord becomes wet or if a fault exists within the pressure washer's electrical system. Under these circumstances, a severe or fatal electric shock could result when the user touches the metal handle or other exposed metal part of the machine.

The safety kit being offered consists of four easy to install insulated bolts that replace existing bolts.

Consumers should call FIMCO toll-free at 800-831-0027 (in Iowa call 800-352-0016) to obtain the free kit and complete instructions. Consumers may also call the CPSC toll-free Hotline for information or assistance at 800-638-CPSC. The Commission's teletypewriter number for the hearing-impaired is (301) 595-7054.