September 15, 1994


Release # 94-127

Washington, D.C. - CPSC, Char-Broil, of Columbus, Ga., announced today a program to give the owners of "Char- Broil" brand charcoal water smokers a kit to close a hole in the charcoal pan to reduce a fire risk.

Approximately 80,000 Char-Broil brand charcoal water smokers sold since March 1993 have a hole in the exposed charcoal pan that can cause a fire if used over a flammable surface like a wooden deck. Using the smoker over a flammable surface is contrary to current warnings and instructions included with the Char-Broil smokers.

According to Char-Broil, charcoal water smokers typically have a charcoal pan with a hole in it, a water pan in the middle of the unit, and grills for food above the water pan and at the top. CPSC is investigating other brands of charcoal water smokers that may present a similar risk of fire. CPSC views all charcoal water smokers, which have exposed charcoal pans with holes that may allow coals to fall out, as a potential fire risk. CPSC, which is seeking corrective actions against other companies, will announce these actions at the earliest possible time.

Although Char-Broil has not received any reports of fires with its smokers to date, the company is participating in this program to help prevent the possibility of fires.

The recalled smokers were sold nationwide in mass market retail stores for $29 to $39 each. They are red or black and are labeled "Char-Broil H2O Smoker" on the body of the smoker. Only smokers that have a hole in the exposed charcoal pan are involved in this recall.

Call Char-Broil at (800) 241-8981 for a free kit to close the hole in the pan. To help reduce the risk of fire even after the hole is closed, do not operate the charcoal water smoker on or near flammable surfaces.