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Tech Talk


WHAT: Nationwide recall of 8.4 million Omega brand fire sprinklers

WHO: Joint recall by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Central Sprinkler Company

WHY: The CPSC believes Omega fire sprinklers are defective and could fail in a fire, exposing the public to bodily injury or death.

WHERE: Omega fire sprinklers are located in a wide variety of buildings - homes, office buildings, schools, nursing homes, hotels- across the nation.

WHAT TO DO: Building and homeowners with sprinklers are urged to find out if they have Omegas. They should call 1-800-896-5685 to request a Notice Packet that contains information on how to identify an Omega. Additionally, this web site contains detailed product identification information.

TERMS OF RECALL: Central is offering consumers free replacement glass bulb sprinklers and reimbursement to help pay for the cost of installing the new sprinklers. To request replacement sprinklers and to receive reimbursement, customers must submit Proof of Claims and Waiver and Release Forms (both found in the Notice Packet) no later than August 1, 1999 to participate fully in the Settlement. If you submit your claim postmarked after August 1, 1999, but by November 1, 2001, you will receive free replacement sprinklers but you will not receive any reimbursement toward installation costs.

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January 5, 2000 - Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) is deeply concerned about W-Five's recent story on smoke alarms. We at ULC want Canadian consumers to realize that all smoke alarms bearing a ULC or C-UL-US Mark - regardless of ionization or photoelectric technology have been tested to nationally recognized standards. Ionization smoke alarms have been saving lives in Canada and elsewhere for several years. In the eyes of reputable fire safety experts, ionization and photoelectric technologies are interchangeable, providing consumers the opportunity to protect themselves should a fire occur, regardless of the kind of fire. As is suggested in all manufacturer installation instructions, ionization alarms are often recognized for being better-suited in detecting fast-flaming fires, which account for 70 percent of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Photoelectric smoke alarms are recognized for being better suited in detecting smoldering fires, which account for 30 percent of home fires. The important thing to remember is that both technologies are designed to offer sufficient time to evacuate your home.

Considering our 80-year history of testing for public safety, ULC is especially concerned about public reaction to W-Five's story. The choice of which smoke alarm to use in your home is yours, but we urge you to consult your local fire department, not a television news show, about the best way to protect you and your family from fire. The Canada Safety Council points out that over the last twenty years there has been a sharp decline in Canada's fire fatality rate. In the 1970s, the rate was 7.5 to 8 deaths per 100,000 population. Now it's about 1.4. Most fire safety experts have long maintained that smoke alarms are a major factor in this drop. Further, according to the Ontario Fire Marshall's Office, more than half of all fire-related deaths in 1997 occurred when there was no working smoke alarm in the home (the major reason for alarms not working was dead or missing batteries).

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Since 1960, the Roofing Contractors Association of B.C. has provided Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional [ICI] building owners with a third party roof guarantee. Over 20,000 roofs have been completed under this program.

Now, with the introduction of the RCABC Guarantee Corp. (RGC) 5 Year Residential Guarantee, homeowners can take advantage of the same roof guarantee protection that ICI building owners have used and trusted for 40 years.

The RGC 5 Year Residential guarantee, is designed for consumers who want to protect their roofing investment by ensuring that qualified contractors install proven materials.

To protect your home, ask your RCABC Professional Roofing Contractor to include the RGC 5 Year Residential Guarantee for your new roof.

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