Do you have a Lane cedar chest that automatically locks when closed and opens only from the outside?
If so, Heritage Home Group (formerly Lane) is offering a kit that will prevent the cover from automatically locking when it is closed. A product recall was issued in 1996 and again in 2000 when children died, or nearly died, after becoming trapped in the chests when the lid closed and automatically latched shut.
This week, two children in Franklin, MA died after being trapped inside a hope chest while playing.
According to LaneFurniture.com, half of the 12 million cedar chests sold did not request a lock replacement kit.
The company says between between 1912 and 1987, Lane and Virginia Maid manufactured and sold an estimated 12 million cedar chests. Chests made in that timeframe latch shut without having to depress a button. In recent years, several children have suffocated inside chests with old style locks. As a result, Lane has launched several successful programs concentrating on lock replacement. However, there are still an estimated 6 million chests that need the locks replaced.
Chests manufactured after 1987 already have the new safety lock.
According to site, the chests are often handed down through families, and it is likely that many were purchased second-hand.
Lane is providing new locks, free of charge, to prevent entrapments. The new locks do not automatically latch shut when the lid is closed and are easy to install by consumers in their homes, according to the company website.
To prevent another tragedy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Lane are urging consumers to check their “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brand cedar chests. The brand name “Lane” or “Virginia Maid” is located inside the cedar chest. If the lid latches shut without depressing a button on the outside of the chest, the lock needs to be replaced. Consumers should have the chest's serial and style numbers, which are branded on the outside bottom or outside back of the chest, available when contacting Lane.
To order your replacement kit, contact Heritage Home Group at 800-327-6944, by email at by email at newlock@LaneFurniture.com, or on-line.To complete the form, you will need to know:
- Style Number (from outside bottom or outside back of chest)
- Serial Number (from outside bottom or outside back of chest)
- Latch Shape, Rectangular or Circular (located on inside of chest top)