Unsafe Weiss heat units banned

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 13:00 14/06/2014

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A government safety agency is to ban the sale of some heat transfer units as the manufacturer withdraws them amidst fears they might catch fire.

Worksafe in a statement say the prohibit notice will cover some Weiss heat transfer units known to have been sold at Mitre 10 outlets and some others.

The models are Weiss Heat Transfer Units FV 602, FV 603, FV 652 and FV 653 which were produced prior to May 2012.The units operate in ceiling spaces and move air through ducts to heat houses.

"Energy Safety is pleased that the manufacturer has recognised the possible safety issues around these units and voluntarily recalled some of them," Energy Safety manager Mark Wogan said.

"There have been three recent instances of these units catching fire, and we are aware of a number of other incidents with them which we are in the process of investigating.

"We are satisfied that there is sufficient safety risk that we should step in and prohibit their continuing use and sale."

The prohibition on use of the unit does not become formally effective until next Friday but Wogan urged people to turn them off immediately and seek advice from the manufacturer on 0800 208 008.

"The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the units it sells are safe for consumers to use, and until we are satisfied that this is the case, the prohibition on use and sale will remain in force."

In a separate statement Weiss said they were conducting a voluntary recall of the specific units.New units had additional safety features.

Weiss is also offering all owners of units purchased and installed before January 2010 the opportunity to replace their old unit with a new one with enhanced safety features.

Weiss say they had been aware of a five incidents that took place between 2009 and 2014. But since a story in the Waikato Times they have learned from the Fire Service about an additional 13 incidents.

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