Originally created 04/24/98

Toaster warning flares up



WASHINGTON -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission renewed efforts Thursday to alert consumers to the perils of a Black & Decker toaster it said can scorch your kitchen, not just your bread.

The consumer agency advised consumers to stop using the toasters immediately and to contact the company.

Black & Decker did not go far enough last year to warn the public of the potential fire hazard of its Spacemaker Optima T1000 toasters, the agency said.

Now, it said, Black & Decker has agreed to spread the word about the risk, is recalling the defective toasters and is offering owners either a replacement or a choice of other selected Black & Decker products, free.

The company has agreed to contact buyers by mail, warn the public through ads, provide safety bulletins for in-store displays and post recall information on its Internet site, the commission said.

The toasters are being recalled because they can allow food to catch on fire, and when the toaster door automatically opens and the food rack extends beyond the door, flames from the food can escape the unit and expose kitchen cabinets and their contents to the fire," the agency said.

The safety commission said that when the recall was first announced last October, Black & Decker reported 242 incidents involving the toaster.

Now, the agency said, the company has received 1,066 food fire complaints involving Spacemaker Optima toasters. It said 656 of these involved property damage, including damage to kitchen cabinets and one kitchen fire. Eight burn injuries have been reported, the agency said.

The toasters were sold nationwide from 1994 through 1996 for $50 to $64. The words Black & Decker, Spacemaker, Horizontal Toaster, Optima, appear on the front of each unit. "MODEL NO. T1000 TY1" is stamped on the back.

Recalls can be arranged by calling Black & Decker between 7 a.m. and midnight EDT Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. EDT on Friday and Saturday. Black & Decker's toll-free number: 1-800-746-2159.

Black & Decker's Internet address is www.blackanddecker.com.