October 1, 2014

Recall : Telstar Light Bulbs Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Light Bulbs

Units: About 317,000

Manufacturer: Telstar Products d/b/a Sprint International Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hazard: The light bulbs can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Telstar Products has received two reports of fires. In one incident, the fire was contained to the light fixture. The other reported incident resulted in a residential fire.

Description: This recall involves energy-saving light bulbs sold under the Telstar and Electra brand names. The bulbs were sold in two styles: spiral and the “3-Us” shape. The Telstar bulbs were sold in 20 and 23 watts with model number LB-1020 and LB-1023 printed on the packaging. The Electra bulbs were sold in 18, 20, 23, 26, 28, 30, 34, 36, 38 and 40 watts with model numbers LB-18, LB-20, LB-23, LB-26, LB-28, LB-30, LB-1018, LB-1020, LB-1023, LB-1026, LB-1134, LB-1136, LB-1138 and LB-1140 printed on the packaging. “CE 110V,” “China” and the wattage number are printed on the bulb.

Sold at: Discount stores throughout New York and New Jersey from August 2010 through March 2011 for between $1 and $1.50

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the light bulbs and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Telstar Products toll-free at (888) 828-1680 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.telstarpro.com

Mom Can Win New Appliances

Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer hhgregg (NYSE:HGG) announced that it will be celebrating Mother’s Day by inviting customers to enter its Frigidaire kitchen appliance package giveaway. From April 26th-May 5th, one contestant will be selected daily to receive $100 hhgregg gift card and all contestants will be registered for the chance to win the grand prize; a kitchen appliance package that includes a refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave.

hhgregg’s Mother’s Day giveaway will also support the heart health of moms everywhere. For each Facebook “like” hhgregg receives during this time frame, the company will donate $1 to The American Heart Association’s “My Heart. My Life” fund, up to $20,000. A minimum of $10,000 will be donated.

“We wanted to honor mothers everywhere this year by not only hosting an exciting giveaway, but by giving back to the American Heart Association, a wonderful organization that promotes healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Jeff Pearson, Vice President of Marketing, hhgregg.

To register for the Mother’s Day Giveaway, please visit www.hhgregg.com/hhgives.

To “like” hhgregg on Facebook, and have $1 donated to The American Heart Association, please visit www.facebook.com/hhgreg

Aging in Place – Appliance Placement

If you are a retiree building a new home, you can plan your kitchen and laundry areas to accommodate your aging body. For those of us who plan to stay right where we are, some simple adjustments and purchases can make daily tasks easier.

So, let’s start with the easy ones, like the Washer & Dryer. Front loading models are very popular today, but bending over and getting inside for the very last sock can be a problem for those with mobility issues. Most brands, including Bosch, Whirlpool and Frigidaire make pedestals for all their newer models, and can retrofit them to older models.They range from 11″ to 17″, depending on the brand. The other solution is to pull the machines out, and have your contractor frame in a raised platform at just the right height for you, cover it with linoleum, and your washer and dryer will be much more accessible.

Another place to ‘right height’ appliances is in the kitchen. Here are more tips from HB Building and Design: One popular solution is a lowered cooktop with the controls on the front. If you have room to make this modification, and lower this part of the countertop with the adjacent required landing space, it really makes things easier for shorter people, or someone sitting in a wheelchair or using a walker.

The second kitchen appliance that should be considered is the refrigerator. A side-by-side refrigerator freezer is a much better choice, giving access to both the freezer and the refrigerator from a sitting position. In a more extensive remodel, a wall oven can be installed at a lower height as can the microwave oven.

A final consideration are countertops which should be smooth to allow you to slide rather than lift heavy pots and pans. Cabinets can also be prepared for someone with a progressive illness by specifying removable base cabinets for future wheelchair access.

Chocolate Vacuums – It’s Not What You Think

Are you shopping for a new vacuum? Of course power, durablity, ease of use, and cost are issues to be addressed, but, hey, what about color? Isn’t the color of your vacuum of primary concern? Well, Electrolux seems to think we should at least have some fashionable choices when it come to our vacuums.

Designers at Electrolux, AEG’s parent company, identified Chocolate Brown as 2011′s “icon color” – the hottest color for cars, fashion, and everything in-between. The new AEG brand UltraOne vacuum cleaners that launch in May 2011 will be offered in Chocolate Brown as well as Deep Blue and Clear Blue.

“The fashion industry, car shows, and interior design expos are a great source of inspiration,” Elisabeth Piper-Mäkitalo, Senior Graphic Designer at Electrolux.

One design detail carried over from the previous UltraOne collection is the scale-like, carbon-fiber “squircle” pattern on its rear side panel. The squircle design – a circle and square hybrid – was added to enhance the vacuum’s appearance. It’s a pattern that is also seen as a design element in car interiors and lamps.

All the new colors are metallic intended to convey a technical feel but also a soft and fashionable quality. Electrolux expects that similar colors will be used in 2011 fashion, cosmetics, and automobiles.

When developing the 2011 look for the UltraOne floor care appliance line, designers took to heart the status the vacuums had earned since its launch – appliance reviewers have given it top rankings in at least 11 markets.

“We naturally wanted to give it a unique range of colors to set it apart from the crowd—a powerful yet fashionable statement,” said Piper-Mäkitalo. “The UltraOne has striking lines – you can really feel its raw energy. We wanted to accentuate this power by adding a bold new palette of colors. When you think about it, there isn‘t that much difference between the colors used in makeup, nail polish and mascara, and today‘s cars. Flake and metallic are found in both worlds. This gives us a range of colors that are both traditionally masculine and feminine: unisex, if you will.”

The design team developed several new colors: Watermelon Red, Deep Blue (available in UK), Ice White, Antique Grey, Clear Blue (available in UK), Cassis, “and, finally, what we call the Icon Color: Chocolate Brown,” Piper-Mäkitalo said. “Brown and metallic feel very right for 2011.”

A Dishwasher for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Remember when you had your last cookout and afterwards you and all of your guests carried the plates, pots and pans indoors to be put in the dishwasher? Those days are now a thing of the past. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet has produced the first outdoor dishwasher specifically designed to work outside and withstand the harshness of the elements.

“The introduction of the outdoor dishwasher has created the only truly complete outdoor kitchen equipment line, giving homeowners independence from their indoor kitchens.” said Pantelis A. “Pete” Georgiadis, president of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

The new dishwasher features a unique wash system designed to clean dishes that have been sitting outdoors or pots and pans that have been over the heat of a grill fire. The outdoor dishwasher was designed with an extra large tub to accommodate the special demands that come from cooking and serving meals outdoors. Its adjustable-height dual rack system offers maximum flexibility. Able to be moved up and down to handle some of the biggest pots and serving platters, it features a maximum clearance space of 15 ¼” inches between each rack.

The outdoor dishwasher features technology that doesn’t waste water. It uses as little as 3.8 gallons in a wash program, ensuring the optimum water level is used for each load. Sensors detect when the quantity of water matches the selected wash program, automatically adjusting water levels even if a flipped-over bowl fills with and reduces some of the available wash water.

At $4,990, the outdoor dishwasher will be available for purchase in summer 2011 through the network of dealers that carry Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet equipment, certified design professionals or directly at www.kalamazoogourmet.com.

Recall: Lasko Box Fans Due To Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Box fans

Units: About 4.8 million units

Manufacturer: Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pa.

Hazard: An electrical failure in the fan’s motor poses a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Lasko has received seven reports of fires associated with motor failures, including two house fires and one barn fire, resulting in extensive property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Lasko box fans with model numbers 3720, 3723, and 3733 and Galaxy box fans with model number 4733 that have date “2002-03″ or “2003-04″ stamped on the bottom of the metal frame. “Lasko” or “Galaxy” is printed on the front of the fan. The model number is either stamped or printed on the bottom of the fans.

Sold at: Mass merchandisers nationwide from July 2002 through December 2005 for between $12 and $25.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fans and contact Lasko to receive a free fused plug safety adapter.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Lasko toll free at (877) 445-1314 anytime or visit the firm’s website at www.laskoproducts.com

Is Steam the Thing? – Steam Mops

Keeping the house clean – or at least clean enough – is a challenge we all face daily. Sometimes adding a new tool to the arsenal against dirt can give us new energy to face the task. This is the first in a series reviewing steam use in appliances.

Looking at tests conducted by Consumer Reports which added the Steam Mop category in 2010, the results are not stunning. A dozen items that often fall to the floor—including ketchup, mustard, olive oil, syrup and baby cereal—were allowed to harden on vinyl floor tiles before testers tackled them with steam mops.

Consumer Reports called the H2O Mop ($100) and Eureka Enviro Steamer 313A ($70) “good” and the others “mediocre.” The nonprofit, independent testing agency identified a recurring flaw: When there’s a large amount of soil, more gets pushed out of the way than picked up by the pad. It also cautions that steam and water could damage wood floors and might void the warranty.

“A $15 squeeze mop proved comparable, if not better, at floor cleaning,” the magazine says.

Steam-mop manufacturers have recently addressed concerns through vacuum/steam mop combos that eliminate the need for a mop, bucket, broom and dustpan. As far as potential floor damage, the mops’ moisture levels can be adjusted for different types of floors.

“With floors that are a little more delicate, for example … you can put it on the steam-dusting setting,” says Dann Provolo, vice president of marketing for Euro-Pro, maker of Shark steam-cleaning products, which introduced its next generation of Steam-Pocket Mop. “Regardless, a traditional mop with water can leave standing water on a floor, which could damage it. Steam quickly dries.”

Portable steam systems with wedge- and cylinder-shaped pads can be used to clean countertops, tile grout, mirrors, windows and upholstery. Steam kills staph, E. coli, mold, mildew and dust mites. A steam unit also can kill bedbugs, with a caveat.

“A steam cleaner should be a tool within a variety of methodologies,” Provolo says. “It shouldn’t be the entire solution.”

We Have a Winner- Kid’s Poster Contest on Carbon Monoxide Safety

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sponsored a nationwide carbon monoxide (CO) safety poster contest to help raise awareness about the dangers of CO in the home. Possible topics for posters included: recognizing CO exposure and CO exposure symptoms; the inability to see or smell CO; steps to protect against CO poisoning; and installation and testing of a CO alarm.

This contest was open to all middle school age children in grades 6, 7 and 8.

Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer” because it can’t be seen or smelled. It can kill its victims quickly. Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home?

How Deadly CO Gets Into a Home:

* Running a portable generator in an enclosed space, basement or living area
* Running a car in an attached garage
* Poorly operating fuel-burning appliances or faulty ventilation
* Burning charcoal inside your home

“Congratulations to all the winners of CPSC’s carbon monoxide poster contest,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We heard from middle school teachers that their students not only had fun creating the posters but also learned about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Our staff had a real challenge choosing the winners because there were so many terrific entries.”

CPSC received nearly 450 entries from 6th, 7th and 8th grade students across the nation. The contest is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide in the home. CPSC estimates there were 184 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products each year from 2005 to 2007.

Trachell from Hawaii, whose poster is pictured above, was the grand prize winner.

Here are some other winning entries: