Firm's Hotline: (800) 327-6944 

September 4, 1996

Firm's Contact: Anne Riechers (636) 686-7588

Release # 96-186

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Lane Company of Altavista, Va., is announcing a voluntary program to replace the locks on cedar chests manufactured prior to 1987. The Lane Company manufactured approximately 12 million cedar chests from 1912 to 1987 that latch automatically when the lid is closed. Young children playing in the chest can become trapped inside and suffocate.

Between 1977 and 1994, six children suffocated inside Lane cedar chests manufactured with an old design lock. The victims ranged in age from 21 months to ten years old.

Consumers can determine whether their chest has an old lock by closing the chest lid without depressing the locking button and then attempting to open the lid without touching the button. If the lid opens, the chest has the new lock and does not need to be replaced. If the lid does not open, it has the old lock. Additionally, old locks click loudly when the lid is shut, locking the chest automatically.

Lane Cedar Chest