WASHINGTON, March 30, 2000 -- The search for unsafe cedar chests is being intesified after another child fatality and two near-fatalities.
In 1996, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Lane Co. of Altavista, Va., conducted a recall of 12 million chests with lids that automatically snap shut when closed following reports of six children suffocating inside the chests.
CPSC and Lane say they have since become aware of another fatality and two near-misses and are calling for a renewed search so that locks can be replaced on chests that have not yet been mocified.
All "Lane" and "Virginia Maid" brand cedar chests manufactured between 1912 and 1987 need to have their locks replaced. The chests are often handed down through families, and it is likely that many were purchased second-hand.
Lane is providing new locks, free of charge, that will prevent entrapments because they do not automatically latch shut when the lid is closed. The new locks are easy to install by consumers in their homes.
To prevent another tragedy, CPSC and Lane are urging consumers to check their "Lane" and "Virginia Maid" brand cedar chests. The brand name "Lane" or "Virginia Maid" is located inside the cedar chest. If the lid latches shut without depressing a button on the outside of the chest, the lock needs to be replaced.
Contact Lane toll-free at (888) 856-8758 anytime or access their web site at www.newlock.net to order the free replacement lock. Consumers should have the chest's serial and style numbers, which are branded on the outside bottom or back of the chest, available when contacting Lane.