April 25, 2003

 

AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD INC. (AHI) formerly known as Sunbeam Corporation Announces Recall of Fire Sprinklers.

American Household Inc. (AHI), formerly known as Sunbeam Corporation, of Boca Raton, Fla., today announced the nationwide recall of about 60,000 Star ME-1 dry fire sprinklers. Chemetron Corporation, an inactive subsidiary of AHI, manufactured these sprinklers from 1977 through 1982. This recall announcement follows the resolution of an administrative proceeding filed by CPSC on October 9, 2001, in which CPSC alleged these sprinklers are defective and are likely to fail to operate in a fire, thereby exposing consumers to the risk of death or serious injury.

Chemetron's Star ME-1 sprinklers have the following information molded onto the sprinkler: the name "Star," the designation "ME-1," and the year of manufacture, starting with 1977 and ending with 1982. These sprinklers were typically installed in areas of buildings where the sprinklers or water supply pipes may be subject to freezing. Examples of such areas include unheated attics, freezers and coolers, porches, and parking garages. The types of facilities in which the sprinklers were installed include nursing homes, convalescent and long-term care facilities, supermarkets and other stores, warehouses, hospitals, and office buildings.

Although Sunbeam Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2001, AHI has agreed to pay up to $1 million to assist in the replacement of the Star ME-1 dry sprinklers that Chemetron manufactured from 1977 through 1982.

To receive payment for sprinkler replacement, consumers must follow specific procedures and must submit claims by September 29, 2005. For more information, consumers should call (888) 551-5014 toll-free anytime or visit the recall Web site at www.starme1recall.com. CPSC previously announced that Mealane Corporation voluntarily agreed to recall Star ME-1 sprinklers manufactured from 1961 through 1976 and Central Sprinkler Company voluntarily agreed to replace Star ME-1 fire sprinklers manufactured from 1996 through 1998. The Sprinkler Corporation of Milwaukee, which manufactured Star ME-1 sprinklers from 1983 through 1995, has no assets with which to fund a recall, but is issuing a safety notice warning building owners to replace these sprinklers.0