Gas furnace safety recall
Residents are being warned to safeguard their homes by getting an inspection of certain gas furnaces the Consumer Product Safety Commission has said “present a substantial risk of fire.”
On Sept. 27, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a press release warning consumers in California that certain gas-fired horizontal forced-air furnaces manufactured by Consolidated Industries (formerly Premier Furnace Company) cause fire.
The furnaces were installed exclusively in California.
“We believe we have an obligation to our customers to turn these units off,” said Lee Mason, the Tahoe district manager at Southwest Gas.
Consolidated manufactured approximately 190,000 of these furnaces from 1983 through 1994 under many different brand names. All of these furnaces can be identified by steel control rods installed above the burners. These rods are visible by removing the side panel.
There have been about 30 reports of fires and damage to homes associated with these furnaces, as well as failures of burners and heat exchangers that can lead to fires.
“We know they were installed in the Truckee area,” said Ron Bassler, a project manager with Southwest Gas, “but as of this time we have not turned any off during our routine services. We know they are here, but there probably aren’t a lot.”
The commission is warning consumers to have their gas-fired furnaces inspected by a licensed heating contractor to determine whether they are subject to this safety alert.
“If you a own a horizontal, forced-air furnace with the steel knock rods, we recommend you hire a heating contractor to insulate the furnace with cement sheets, take the rods out or have the furnace replaced,” said Ken Giles, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Giles recommends affected residents contact attorney Rob McDonald in San Jose regarding a class action lawsuit at (408) 345-4000.
Southwest Gas sent a letter to more than 10,000 customers in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Truckee area to provide information about the furnaces, and the company’s action.
Although the letter stated Southwest is unable to perform the type of inspection required, referrals to qualified contractors can be obtained by calling Southwest Gas Energy Services at 1-800-654-2765.
– A list of known furnace names affected by the warning
TRADE NAME MODEL NUMBER
American Best HCC
American Standard THN
Comfort Aire GSH
Franklin Electric HAC/HCC
Hamilton Electric HAC/HCC
Heat Controller GSH
Magic Chef ENG
Sun Glow HAC/HCC
(This list was compiled by Richard G. White Inc.)
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