News  from  CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Policy                                               Washington, D.C.  20207
____________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 1999
Release #99-152                                                                          
Contact: Ken Giles at (301
) 504-0580 Extension 1192                                                                        
   
                 

 CPSC, Mealane Corp. Announce Recall of Star Fire Sprinklers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Mealane Corp. of Philadelphia, Pa., is voluntarily recalling up to 1 million “Star” brand fire sprinklers manufactured from 1961 through 1976. These sprinklers could fail in a fire, exposing the public to bodily injury or death. These sprinklers have been installed nationwide, primarily in nursing homes. They also may be found in hospitals, schools, resorts, stores, office buildings, warehouses and supermarkets.

CPSC reports that 67 percent of the sprinklers that were removed from locations across the country and submitted for testing to independent testing laboratories, such as by Underwriters Laboratories and Factory Mutual Research Corp., failed to activate as they should. CPSC has received one report of a Star sprinkler allegedly not functioning in a bedroom fire in a nursing home.

The Star sprinklers being recalled are dry-type models D-1, RD-1, RE-1, E-1 and ME-1 made from 1961 through 1976. The name “Star” appears on the sprinkler, along with the model number and date of manufacture. With “dry-type” sprinklers, portions of the pipe do not have water in them until the sprinkler activates. The former Star Sprinkler Co., of Philadelphia, Pa., sold its assets and changed its name in June 1976 and became known as Mealane Corp.

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits hospitals and other long-term-care facilities, is supporting the recall with CPSC.

Consumers and property owners should determine whether their facilities contain these recalled sprinklers and if so, call the Star Sprinkler Recall Hotline at (800) 866-7807 or access the website at www.star-recall.com to participate in the recall. Mealane will provide free replacement sprinkler heads and reimbursement for the labor costs of removing and replacing the old units.

CPSC is continuing its ongoing investigation of fire sprinklers.

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