August 8, 2011
Office of the Secretary
Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East-West Highway
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Comments of Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America
to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
“Petition Requesting Safeguards for Glass Fronts of Gas Vented Fireplaces”
Docket No. CPSC– 2011–0028
Consumers Union (CU), the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports®, and Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a non-profit association of approximately 300 pro-consumer groups that was founded to advance the consumer interest through advocacy and education, submit the following comments to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) in the above-referenced matter.
The CPSC docketed a petition filed by Carol Pollack-Nelson, Ph.D. on May 23, 2011. The petition requests that CPSC “develop a mandatory standard for gas fireplaces that requires an integral protective barrier, guard or other device for any accessible surface (e.g., glass fronts) contacted is hot enough to cause severe burns.
The petition notes that the industry standard for gas vented fireplace heaters allows glass fronts to reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, that these glass fronts are accessible to children, that children are being injured as a result burns from contact with the high temperature glass. It should also be noted that the industry standard for Vented Gas Fireplaces, ANSI Z21.50-2007,5 allows ceramic glass to reach 1328 degrees Fahrenheit, tempered glass to reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and annealed glass to reach 446 degrees Fahrenheit. All are hot enough to cause severe contact burns.
For the full comments, click here (PDF format)