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HPBA submits comments to the CPSC regarding possible regulations of glass fronts on gas fireplaces

Possible Regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

On June 8th, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published a request for comments on two petitions that it received that requested the regulation of glass fronts on gas fireplaces.  One petition, citing two thousand serious burns over a ten-year period, requested regulations making barriers mandatory.  The other requested the use of an LED-based warning system that the petitioner invented.

The HPBA comments were submitted on August 8th.  Several member companies also submitted comments.  The entire list of comments can be found at Regulations.gov

Several years before these petitions were filed, HPBA had created and distributed a consumer brochure to alert consumers of the possible burn hazards of glass fronts. In addition, CSA, the organization that issues safety standards for gas fireplaces, had convened a Working Group to consider what further safety measures were warranted to protect people – especially young children – from burns on glass fronts.  The group started meeting in July, 2010, and has since met in May and August, 2011, with another meeting scheduled in September. 

HPBA’s comments had two main points.  First, the comments pointed to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), which requires CPSC to rely on voluntary standards, instead of regulations, whenever possible.  We said that the CSA Working Group – which includes both HPBA and CPSC representatives – has already been working aggressively on the problem, and that formal changes to CSA’s Z21.50 and Z21.88 standards are being expedited.  As a result, CPSC need not regulate the industry, as the CPSA mandates.

Second, HPBA said that it is developing a more aggressive education program to continually educate the public on the possible burn hazards from glass fronts.  We also included an outline of what such an education plan would look like.

If you are a manufacturer of products that would be affected by any CPSC actions, you should read the HPBA comments.

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