The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with White-Rodgers of St. Louis, Mo, announced a voluntary recall of programmable thermostats - about 180,000 in the United States and 8,300 in Canada. The programmable thermostats constantly charge the backup AA batteries used to power the thermostat’s clock. This can cause the batteries to leak, resulting in a fire hazard. White-Rodgers is aware of three incidents involving minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

The recalled thermostats were manufactured in China and distributed by more than 40 utility companies to consumers nationwide who took part in energy conservation programs and by various HVAC wholesalers for about $150. These thermostats were able to be controlled by power companies in homes that took part in energy-demand-reduction programs.

This recall involves all White-Rodgers programmable thermostats with model numbers 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275, and date codes beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039. The model number is printed on the thermostat’s front pull-down panel door. The date code is located inside the removable front cover. White-Rodgers and/or the utility company’s name and logo are printed on the front of the thermostat.

Consumers should immediately remove the two AA batteries from the thermostat and contact White-Rodgers for a free repair kit. If battery removal causes changes in furnace operation, contact White-Rodgers. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

For additional information, contact White-Rodgers toll-free at 888/624-1901 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site

To view pictures of the recalled models, go The Health Canada release can be viewedhere.