We all know that an annual medical checkup is a good idea to help us stay healthy. The products in consumers' homes need the same attention at least once every year to be safe. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to check for unsafe products in their homes.
Most consumer products have safety standards, warning labels or safety devices. Those safety aids include, for example, an immersion-protection device on hair dryers to protect consumers from electrical shocks and electrocution; a label on bicycle helmets, stating that the helmet meets CPSC's federal safety standard; warning labels on toys, cautioning that small parts can be a choking hazard to young children; and safety information, providing alerts about medication and hazardous household chemicals that must comply with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.
Report dangerous products to CPSC at Safer Products.gov. Consumers should make sure the products at home have these important labels or safety devices. If they don't, consumers should report the product to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.
Help protect others. Reporting unsafe products helps CPSC do its job and lets other consumers know about dangerous products. Reporting also helps CPSC decide whether it should recall a product, issue a fine to the manufacturer, or create a regulation to address the product hazard.
Reporting is confidential. Personal information will remain confidential throughout the reporting process and will never be shared without a consumer's permission. If a consumer gives CPSC permission to publish their report, the report may become searchable from the Search page on SaferProducts.gov. If they do not give us permission to publish their report, the safety information may still be made public by CPSC, however consumers' names and contact information will never be released.
Consumers should check their homes today. Consumers should use the following checklist to make sure their consumer products are safe. If a consumer suspects a product in their home is counterfeit, they should let CPSC know about it at www.SaferProducts.gov. Also check for recalled products in the home. The list of recalled products is at SaferProducts.gov, or CPSC's recalls app can be downloaded for free.
Consumers Should Check Their Homes for These Products and Others
Type of Product
What to look for
Registration card – These should come with baby products. Fill it out, or register the product on the firm's website.
Toys must have age labels if the toy is a choking hazard for children under 3 years old. Only give children toys that are intended for his or her age to prevent choking or other hazards. Keep toys for older children away from the younger ones.
Check hair dryers for an immersion-protection device. This is required to protect consumers from electrical shock and electrocutions.
Look for a label stating the bicycle helmet meets CPSC federal safety standard. Helmets that comply with CPSC's standard help reduce the risk of brain injuries from a fall.
Check cords to make sure they have been listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or CSA Group Testing and Certification Inc. Unlisted or counterfeit extension cords can cause fires or electrical shocks.
Kids' sleepwear must be flame resistant or it must be tight-fitting to protect children from being burned. (sold in sizes larger than 9 months.)
If the sleepwear is not flame resistant, it must have a hang tag stating it is not flame resistant and should be worn snug fitting.
Loose-fitting sleepwear is more likely to catch fire.
Children's art supplies should be labelled: "CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236," to protect kids from toxic ingredients.
Carpets and rugs must meet federal flammability standards. Small carpets and rugs that do not meet the standards should have this on a label: "FLAMMABLE (FAILS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE STANDARD FF 2-70): SHOULD NOT BE USED NEAR SOURCES OF IGNITION."
Warning labels: Consumer fireworks have warning labels describing the hazard and function of a fireworks device.
Holiday lights must have certain safety features to reduce the risk of electrical shock or fire.
Look for a label on the box or the product stating that the lights have been certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as UL, ETL or CSA, to meet UL 588.
Medications and Hazardous Household Products
The Poison Prevention Packaging Act requires that medications and certain household products are in packages that are not easy for children to access. Keep medications and hazardous household products in their original packaging and out of the reach of children.
About the U.S. CPSC The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.