If you can get over the initial confusion about a fireplace being recalled due to a fire hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a voluntary recall today of some 20,000 Garden Treasure Living steel-framed outdoor wood-burning fireplaces sold at Lowe's Retail Stores from March to November, 2010. According to the CPSC the product has a decorative bronze powder coat finish on the chimney that poses a fire hazard during use. CPSC has 14 reports of this occurring with one report of melted siding. 

As with many recalled products, this one was manufactured in China, but has a U.S. manufacturer listed as Sunjoy Industries Group Limited of Steubenville, Ohio. The fireplace cost about $300 and the recalled product code can be found on the front page of the instruction manual -- item number 0027705 and model number L-OF082PFST-3. 

It is illegal to re-sell a recalled product. For a picture of the fireplace or more information, see the recall notice at


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According to the Associated Press, the price of oil only accounts for 50-70 percent of the final price at the pump. Also, a spokesperson at GasBuddy.com, which collects national gas prices, reports that gas stations will only decrease the price at the pump 1-2 pennies per day when their gas prices drop a dime. Other factors making up the other 30-50 percent of the pump price include such nebulous things as fluctuations in the stock market, whether the product is purchased on a long term project or on the "spot" market, competitors' rates, the weather, and oil refinery conditions. It isn't just regular gasoline that gets hit by these factors. According to Truckers News (www.truckersnews.com) the price of diesel jumped 15 cents in the week ending March 7, 2011, to a national retail price per gallon of 3,871. For more information on the factors that bear upon pricing at the pump, see the AP story at 


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Check your Skippy Peanut Butter in 16.3 oz plastic bottles against the recall list at the FDA link below. The peanut butter has been recalled due in part to risks of Salmonella, which can cause serious or even fatal infections in young children, and serious health conditions in others such as the elderly or immuno-compromised. 



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In January, Consumer Reports issued its analysis of reports of exploding glass dishes made by Pyrex, Anchor Hocking and the like. Consumer Reports studied 163 reports and also has a frame by frame video of their own testing on their website. The take away seems to be beware of glass dishes near heat and the possibility of flying shards of glass otherwise. The new formulations are definitely not the same tried and true cooking ware used for your Grandmother's casseroles. 

The full Consumer Report, video and analysis can be found at:


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