The gun safe company Fortress Safe voluntarily recalled 61,000 gun safes after a 12-year-old reportedly died after obtaining a firearm inside one of the safes, the New York Times reports. .The Illinois-based company cited a programming flaw in the safes, which use fingerprint reader technology. “Consumers can believe they have properly programmed the biometric feature when in fact the safe remains in the default to open mode, which can allow unauthorized users, including children, to access the safe to remove hazardous contents, including firearms,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The commission urged consumers to stop using the safe’s biometric feature immediately by removing the batteries and to contact the manufacturer for a free replacement safe. The commission said a lawsuit contended that a 12-year-old boy died after accessing one of the safes, but did not provide further information. There were 39 reports of the safes being opened by people with unregistered fingerprints, the commission added. The 12-year-old “suffered a lethal gunshot wound to the head” in January 2022 after gaining access to the safe in his home, said a lawsuit filed this year in Nevada. The boy’s father bought the safe in March 2021 at a Scheel’s store in Nevada. Fortress Safe said it was aware of the lawsuit and had issued the recall voluntarily. The recall covers nine safe models in varying sizes, from smaller personal safes to large ones that can store long firearms.