By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Prima Australasia has issued a national recall of certain batches of its Prima-branded PTC902 ceramic fan heaters sold this year, which could burst into flames due to a fault in the fan.

The affected models were sold between February and the beginning of September 2006, with batch numbers 6821 and 6911 susceptible to the fault.

“With certain instances the fan may cease to operate causing the ceramic element to overheat sufficiently to ignite the plastic cabinet and cause a fire,” said the company in a notice issued to the Product Safety Section of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The PTC902 is a 1500 watt oscillating ceramic fan heater advertised on Prima’s website as having built-in safety features including a tip-over switch and an overheat cut-out.

At the time of writing, there was no mention of the recall on Prima’s website.

Consumers are advised to discontinue use of the heater immediately and return the product to point of purchase for a refund.

Prima Australasia managing director, Robert Heilbrunn, confirmed the recall but refused to comment, insisting that all retailers concerned had been fully briefed about their role in the recall.

Heilbrunn said consumers would be notified directly through newspaper advertising, but said he did not have the details of how and when this would occur.

Prima was also unable to provide details how many affected units were sold in Australia.

Prima Australasia can be contacted on 1300 366 155.