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If you have an old gas range, oven or clothes dryer, you should have its flexible gas connector checked by a qualified professional as soon as possible, urges the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Older gas connectors are made of uncoated brass and can crack or break. Since 1980 there have been 38 deaths and 63 injuries from fires or explosions resulting from cracked or broken gas connectors. Uncoated brass connectors have not been produced for about 20 years, but many still are in use nationwide.

The safety commission warns consumers not to try to check the gas connectors themselves. Moving an older appliance, even slightly, can cause the connectors to crack and result in gas leaks and explosion.

All fuel-burning appliances should be inspected annually to lessen the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. For information on gas connectors, call (800) 638-2772.

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