April 22, 2005 9:59 AM

I would be pressed to believe that "SAFE" and "Child Lock" mean the same thing. On most devices I've ran across, safe would indicate some kind of "safe mode", where the unit refuses to operate to either protect itself or the software you're putting in it.

If it really is a child lock, then you should be able to go into the unit's menu and disable it. Due to Emerson's lack of support for their gear, I couldn't even hunt down a manual for your VCR to verify that it even has a child lock feature.

Another thing to check is that the VCR does not have any recordings scheduled. If so, it may be refusing your commercial tape because the protection tab is broken off. Long shot, but I'm pulling at straws here.

You said there was a power fluctuation, which is not a good sign. Power surges can really mess with gear. My instincts tell me the problem is is something under the hood that occured because of the surge, but try everything before you pitch it.