April 11, 1996


Release # 96-098

WASHINGTON, D.C. - CPSC, Square D Company of Palatine, Ill., announces a voluntary recall of approximately 920,000 electric baseboard heaters. The insulation of a wire running along the inside of the heater may deteriorate over time, causing sparking, which may lead to a potential fire hazard. In addition, if the heaters are not properly grounded, a potential shock hazard exists when the uninsulated wire contacts the metal heater enclosure.

Square D Company has received at least 100 complaints or claims of baseboard heaters overheating. Ninety incidents of property damage, three deaths, and five injuries were among incidents alleged. The involvement of the baseboard heaters in the reported incidents has not been confirmed.

This voluntary recall program affects baseboard heaters sold between 1970 and 1986 with brand names Square D and Nelco Corporation. Model numbers begin with 18, 25, or 30, followed by four numbers ending in series A or B (for example 25242-4 SER A).

These tan colored baseboard heaters are permanently installed units measuring two feet (500 watt) to ten feet (2500 watt) in length. The brown and white Square D and Nelco Corporation identification label, which includes both model number and UL listing number, is located on the bottom left side of the heater just below the heating element.

To prevent a potential fire or electric shock, all of the heaters subject to this recall should be replaced. Consumers who own the baseboard heaters should check for discoloration on the heater cover. If the cover is discolored, consumers should immediately turn off the power to the heaters and stop using them until they are replaced.

Square D no longer sells these heaters. The Company is offering to reimburse consumers 25% of the cost for replacement heater(s).

To obtain 25% of the cost for replacement heater(s), the consumer should purchase replacement heater(s) from a retailer and submit a copy of the purchase receipt and the model identification labels from the recalled heaters. The reimbursement can be obtained only for the purchase of the same number of heater(s) of equal or less physical size and wattage. The consumer should contact Square D Company, now known as Schneider Electric at (877) 202-9046 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, to obtain further information.