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Recall of Omega fire sprinklers under way

December 21, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A nationwide recall of Omega brand fire sprinklers has begun, prompting local homeowners and building managers who have the devices to register for free replacements.

"We know of at least three local places that have these kinds of sprinklers and they have all been contacted by our office," said Hagerstown Fire Marshal Tom Brown.

Those three places were identified because the plan reviews for construction were submitted to Brown's office.

Brown said he knew of no failures of the systems in Hagerstown. Omega brand fire sprinklers have been manufactured since 1982.

The recall is part of a settlement reached in October after the Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a lawsuit last March claiming that Omega sprinklers are defective and could likely fail in a fire, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's office.

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This recall affects all styles, model numbers, dates of manufacture or type of piping. It also eliminates the previous program to test Omega sprinklers to see if a replacement is warranted.

Callers to 1-800-896-5685 will be directed through a series of steps to get names, mailing addresses and phone numbers.

Consumers will be mailed class action notices and a recall package within eight working days.

In order to qualify for reimbursement toward installation costs, owners must return a proof of claim form to Central Sprinkler Corp. of Lansdale, Pa., by Aug. 1, 1999.

"We would be willing to answer any questions at our local office," Brown said. He said that calling the 800 number is necessary to get the replacements.

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