Company Phone Number: (800) 964-9687

June 26, 1999


Release # 99-148

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), EKCO Housewares Inc., of Franklin Park, Ill., is recalling about 333,000 utility lighters. These lighters can ignite in the trigger area when the trigger is pulled, creating a risk of fire and burn hazards to consumers.

EKCO Housewares, Inc. received four reports of these lighters flaring up during use, causing minor burns to consumers' hands and arms.

The recalled utility lighters are refillable and contain butane. They are about 9 inches long and have a white plastic base, red plastic handle with a black plastic trigger and on/off switch, and a metal barrel. "GAS TORCH" is imprinted on the barrel. A yellow label is affixed to the handle and reads in part, "DANGER: EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE...MADE IN CHINA."

The lighters were packaged in cardboard display sleeves under the brand name EKCO. The package lists either item number 58046 or 15387.

Mass merchandise, hardware and grocery stores sold the lighters nationwide from January 1997 through June 1999 for about $3.

Consumers should stop using the recalled lighters immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. Alternatively, consumers can obtain a refund, plus postage, by mailing either the package card or white plastic base of the lighter to EKCO Housewares at 9234 West Belmont Ave., Franklin Park, IL 60131, Attention: Customer Service Department. Consumers should throw the body of the lighter in the trash. It should not be incinerated or punctured. For more information about this recall, consumers should call EKCO Housewares at (800) 964-9687 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday.

Picture of Utility Lighters

Picture of Barrel of the Lighter with Gas Torch printed on it