WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Honeywell Consumer Products Inc. (HCP), of Southborough, Mass, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $800,000. The penalty settles allegations that Duracraft Corp. failed to report to the CPSC in a timely manner incidents associated with its humidifiers, ceramic heaters, and baseboard heaters as required by the Consumer Product Safety Act. Honeywell Inc. acquired Duracraft Corp. in May 1996, which later became HCP d/b/a Duracraft Corp.
The CPSC alleges that Duracraft began to receive in 1990 complaints about the ceramic heaters smoking or flaming. In December 1995, Duracraft began to receive reports from consumers who observed that the baseboard heaters were smoking or flaming. As of February 1996, Duracraft had notice of at least 33 incidents involving overheating in the ceramic heater, as well as 68 reports of humidifiers emitting smoke, sparks, or catching on fire. In November 1996, a 6- year-old child died during a fire, which CPSC attributes to a failed humidifier.