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On a Day for Goblins and Tricks, Make Safety a Treat

1 week 1 day ago
On a Day for Goblins and Tricks, Make Safety a Treat kcoleman@cpsc.gov Tue, 10/12/2021 - 09:22 Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 12:00 22-005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to make safety a priority this Halloween when trick-or-treating, donning costumes, carving pumpkins and decorating.

Over the past three years, CPSC estimates that an annual average 3,600 Halloween-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Here’s how the injuries break down:

  • 48% were related to pumpkin carving;
  • 27% were due to falls while putting up or taking down decorations, tripping on costumes or walking while trick-or-treating;
  • 25% of the injuries included lacerations, ingestions and other injuries associated with costumes, pumpkins or decorations, and allergic reactions or rashes. 

Among the injured, 56 percent were adults 18 years and over, 44 percent were under 18 years old, and about six percent of all injuries were to children two years old or younger.
 

Avoid injuries by following these CPSC safety tips:

Leave pumpkin carving to the adults. Child helpers can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside or use a marker to trace the design. 

Battery-operated lights or glow sticks are recommended for decorations and are the safest option. However, if using open-flame candles, keep them away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended.

Use a ladder when hanging or removing decorations, and only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard damaged light sets.

Wear a costume that fits, and avoid overly long or baggy costumes to prevent trips and falls. Costumes with loose, flowing fabrics can also be a fire hazard when close to open flames. Costumes made of polyester or nylon fabric, and not sheer cotton or rayon fabric, reduce the hazard. However, any fabric can burn if it comes in contact with an open flame.

One last thing, be sure to follow the advice of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local jurisdiction. COVID-19 still lurks, so know when to wear a mask, not a Halloween costume mask, but a protective mask.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

 

On a Day for Goblins and Tricks, Make Safety a Treat CPSC is reminding consumers to make safety a priority this Halloween when trick-or-treating, donning costumes, carving pumpkins and decorating. On-a-Day-for-Goblins-and-Tricks-Make-Safety-a-Treat
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC to Consumers: The Safest Window Coverings When Young Children Are Present Are Cordless

2 weeks 1 day ago
CPSC to Consumers: The Safest Window Coverings When Young Children Are Present Are Cordless TSanders@cpsc.gov Tue, 10/05/2021 - 00:36 Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 12:00 22-002 October is National Window Covering Safety Month

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the most serious hazards in American homes is also one of its most hidden—window covering cords that entangle infants and children. As many across the country continue to work and learn from home due to COVID-19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to choose cordless window coverings. Pull cords, continuous loop cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords on window coverings are dangerous to young children.

“Children have strangled to death on the cords of window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings, and this can happen in mere moments, even with an adult nearby,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “The safest option when young children are present is to go cordless.”

When children become entangled, strangulation can occur in less than a minute. Window cord strangulation is often silent, so parents or caregivers nearby may not realize that a tragedy is unfolding. On average, about nine children age 5 and younger die every year from strangulation in window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings with cords. In addition, there were nearly 200 incidents involving children up to 8 years old due to strangulation hazards on window covering cords from January 2009 through December 2020, according to CPSC data. Injuries varied from a scar around the neck, quadriplegia and permanent brain damage.

CPSC is advising consumers to buy and install cordless window coverings (labeled as cordless) in all rooms where a child may be present. Cordless products are available at most major retailers and online including inexpensive options. If consumers are unable to replace existing window coverings with cordless ones, CPSC recommends the following safety steps:

  • Eliminate any dangling cords by making the pull cords as short as possible.
  • Keep all window covering cords out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that cord stops are installed properly and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
  • Anchor to the floor or wall continuous-loop cords for draperies and blinds.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.

For more information, visit CPSC’s Window Covering Safety Education Center

CPSC staff is in the process of developing a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) on corded window coverings for Commission consideration.

CPSC to Consumers: The Safest Window Coverings When Young Children Are Present Are Cordless One of the most serious hazards in American homes is also one of its most hidden—window covering cords that entangle infants and children. CPSC-to-Consumers-The-Safest-Window-Coverings-When-Young-Children-Are-Present-Are-Cordless
TSanders@cpsc.gov

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety to Avoid Danger; African Americans Have the Highest Rate of Fire Deaths and Injuries

2 weeks 2 days ago
Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety to Avoid Danger; African Americans Have the Highest Rate of Fire Deaths and Injuries jgalbo@cpsc.gov Mon, 10/04/2021 - 11:54 Monday, October 4, 2021 - 12:00 22-001

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Knowing what to do if there’s a house fire can save lives. Fire Prevention Week is October 3 through 9, and CPSC and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) want to encourage everyone to listen to the sounds of safety from smoke and CO alarms. That means:

  • When the alarm “beeps,” respond immediately and get out of the home as quickly as possible.
  • When the alarm “chirps,” it’s time to change the batteries, or install a new alarm.
  • If there is someone in the household who is deaf or hard of hearing, install bed shaker and strobe light alarms that will alert that person to fire danger.

Based on CPSC staff estimates for 2016 through 2018, there are about 360,000 home fires every year, leading to roughly 2,400 deaths. In addition, it is estimated that there are nearly 10,400 injuries per year. Research also shows that across all races, African Americans have the highest rate of fire deaths and injuries—nearly twice the overall death rate, and more than twice the overall injury rate. According to CPSC’s Residential Fire Loss Estimates report, although African Americans represent 13% of the population, they represent an estimated 24% of the home fire deaths and 27% of the home fire injuries.

“In light of this data, we must do better collectively, at state and local levels, to inform the public—and African Americans, in particular--about lifesaving, fire safety messaging,” says Acting CPSC Chairman Bob Adler. “One way to do this is to encourage local community leadership to implement outreach strategies that both communicate and encourage proactively these fire safety guidelines at home.”

CPSC urges everyone to plan and practice regularly these simple steps to have a fighting chance at avoiding injury and death when faced with a fire emergency.

  • Create an escape plan. Make sure there are two ways out of each room, as well as a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the plan and practices the plan.
  • Pick a family meeting place outside.
  • Once outside, stay outside.
  • Call 911.
  • Ensure that working smoke alarms are inside and outside of every sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Make sure there are working CO alarms on every level of the home.
  • Test all smoke and CO alarms monthly.
  • Have working fire sprinklers.

Small children in the home, and the elderly will need additional assistance during a fire emergency. For more information, check out our multigenerational tool kit.

View CPSC’s fire safety PSA for older consumers here.

More fire safety tips and information are provided in our fire safety information center.

Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety to Avoid Danger; African Americans Have the Highest Rate of Fire Deaths and Injuries ire Prevention Week is October 3 through 9, and CPSC and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) want to encourage everyone to listen to the sounds of safety from smoke and CO alarms. Learn-the-Sounds-of-Fire-Safety-to-Avoid-Danger-African-Americans-Have-the-Highest-Rate-of-Fire-Deaths-and-Injuries
jgalbo@cpsc.gov

Injuries Using E-Scooters, E-Bikes and Hoverboards Jump 70% During the Past Four Years

2 weeks 6 days ago
Injuries Using E-Scooters, E-Bikes and Hoverboards Jump 70% During the Past Four Years kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 09/30/2021 - 11:59 Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 12:00 21-205

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As consumers step up their use of e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bikes to return to work, school and other activities, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds everyone to keep safety a priority.

According to advance data from a soon-to-be-released CPSC report on hazard patterns associated with micromobility products, injuries and deaths continue to rise, but data are certainly consistent with the notion that a lot of people staying home in 2020, led to a leveling off or slight reduction in scooter use.

Here’s what the latest data show:

  • There were more than 190,000 emergency room (ED) visits due to all micromobility products from 2017 through 2020.  ED visits had a steady 70% increase from 34,000 (2017), 44,000 (2018), 54,800 (2019) to 57,800 (2020).
  • Much of the increase between 2017 and later years was attributable to ED visits involving e-scooters, which rose three times as much, from 7,700 (2017), to 14,500 (2018), to 27,700 (2019) and 25,400 (2020).
  • Injuries happened most frequently to upper and lower limbs, as well as the head and the neck.
  • CPSC is aware of 71 fatalities associated with micromobility products from 2017 through 2020, although reporting is incomplete.

The hazards associated with micromobility products primarily fall into three broad areas: mechanical, electrical, and human factors. To address these hazards, CPSC staff continues to work with ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to develop and make improvements to, voluntary standards. In support of these and other efforts, CPSC has done analyses of incident data and has done testing for the various hazards. CPSC also collaborates with federal partners and industry stakeholders to promote micromobility safety.

The best way to avoid injuries when using micromobility products: 

  • Always make sure to wear a helmet. 
  • Before riding an e-scooter, make sure to check it for any damage, which includes examining the handlebars, brakes, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cables and frame. Damage to the e-scooter can cause loss of control and lead to a crash. 

More life-saving tips can be found in CPSC’s e-scooter safety alert and safety PSA.

Injuries Using E-Scooters, E-Bikes and Hoverboards Jump 70% During the Past Four Years WASHINGTON, D.C. – As consumers step up their use of e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bikes to return to work, school and other activities, CPSC reminds everyone to keep safety a priority. Injuries-Using-E-Scooters-E-Bikes-and-Hoverboards-Jump-70-During-the-Past-Four-Years
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

Top Safety Tips for Early Holiday Shoppers Amid Reports of Expected Toy Shortage

3 weeks 1 day ago
Top Safety Tips for Early Holiday Shoppers Amid Reports of Expected Toy Shortage kcoleman@cpsc.gov Tue, 09/28/2021 - 08:41 Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 12:00 21-200

2020 Data Show 9 Deaths and Nearly 150,000 ER-Treated Injuries with Children’s Toys 

WASHINGTON, D.C.Toy manufacturers are warning of potential supply-chain delays and global shipping issues due to COVID-19. Concerns about a possible toy shortage this holiday, are prompting many Americans to start their holiday shopping early. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing its holiday toy buying tips early this year, urging shoppers to review these safety tips BEFORE hitting the stores in person, or shopping online.

A new report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that in 2020, there were nine deaths and more than 149,000 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries to children ages 14 and younger. The majority of these injuries and deaths were associated with choking on small parts of toys.

The report also shows emergency department-treated injuries associated with the following items:

  • toy balls: These were related to the most emergency department-treated injuries (8% or 11,400);
  • building sets (7% or 9,900);   
  • toy vehicles (4% or 6,200);
  • non-motorized scooters: ER-injuries increased by 2.5 percent for children younger than 14, from about 35,600 in 2019, to about 36,500 injuries in 2020. 

CPSC recommends these simple safety tips before purchasing toys:

  • Choose age-appropriate toys that match the child's interests and abilities. Always read and heed the label to determine whether a toy is age-appropriate for the child.
  • Keep small balls, high-powered magnets, and toys with small parts or button batteries away from children younger than age 3.
  • Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8 years old, and immediately discard balloons that won’t inflate, or have popped. 
  • Get safety gear, including helmets for scooters and other riding toys. Helmets should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit.
  • Take note of safety warnings, information, and labels.

Online shopping continues to be popular, convenient, and a safe alternative this season. Adults should follow additional toy safety tips when shopping online:

  • Always shop from stores and online retailers you know and trust.
  • Look for a choking hazard warning or statements, especially when purchasing toys and games online that contain small parts, such as balls, marbles and balloons. 
  • Check for additional safety information from online sellers, especially when shopping for kids. 
  • To avoid counterfeits, scrutinize the product, the packaging and the label. If the price seems too good to be true, this could be a sign that the product is counterfeit.
  • Look for a certification mark from an independent testing organization and the manufacturer’s label.

Before purchasing a new or used toy, consumers should check that the toy has not been banned or recalled. This can easily be confirmed at www.cpsc.gov/recalls, or by downloading the free CPSC Recalls App on CPSC.gov. Whenever possible, register the toy with the company after purchase.

If a toy, or any other household product, appears to be dangerous or malfunctions, immediately stop using it, secure it in a safe location away from children, and report the safety issue to www.SaferProducts.gov. This can help reduce the risk of injury to other children. 

Regardless of when the 2021 holiday shopping season begins, CPSC urges manufacturers and consumers to put safety first, especially regarding children’s toys. 

 

Top Safety Tips for Early Holiday Shoppers Amid Reports of Expected Toy Shortage 2020 Data Show 9 Deaths and Nearly 150,000 ER-Treated Injuries with Children’s Toys Top-Safety-Tips-for-Early-Holiday-Shoppers-Amid-Reports-of-Expected-Toy-Shortage
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

Parents and Caregivers Reminded of Safe Sleep Guidance

1 month ago
Parents and Caregivers Reminded of Safe Sleep Guidance kcoleman@cpsc.gov Tue, 09/14/2021 - 23:57 Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 12:00 21-195

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Babies spend most of their time sleeping, so the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents and caregivers to get “back to basics” to make sure that baby’s sleep spaces are safe. CPSC’s new public service announcement focuses on three key reminders for safe sleep:  

  1. Back to Sleep: Always place the baby to sleep on the baby’s back to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUID/SIDS) and suffocation;
  2. Bare is Best: Always keep the baby’s sleep space bare (fitted sheet only) to prevent suffocation. Do not use pillows, padded crib bumpers, quilts or comforters; and 
  3. Only place the baby to sleep in a product that is intended for sleep. Transfer the baby to a crib, bassinet, play yard or bedside sleeper if the baby falls asleep in a swing, bouncer, lounger or similar product. 

CPSC’s most recent report on nursery product injuries and deaths shows that cribs/mattresses, playpens/play yards, bassinets/cradles, infant carriers and inclined infant sleep products were associated with 83 percent of the fatalities reported. About one-third (32 percent) of infant and toddler fatalities were associated with cribs and/or mattresses, while bassinets/cradles, infant carriers and inclined sleep products, collectively, were associated with an additional one-third (32 percent) of fatalities. Most of these nursery product-related deaths are due to asphyxiation resulting from a cluttered or hazardous sleep environment. The sleep area is often cluttered with extra bedding, such as pillows, blankets, comforters and plush toys. 

Beginning in mid-2022, any product intended or marketed for infant sleep must meet a new federal safety standard. This new mandatory standard will effectively eliminate potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace that currently do not meet a CPSC mandatory standard for infant sleep, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets and in-bed sleepers, which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths. Popular products formerly referred to as “inclined sleep products” include several styles that have been recalled over the years.

“Protecting babies and toddlers is among the most sacred of our obligations as Commissioners,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “We are dedicated to using all the tools at the agency’s disposal—education, enforcement and rulemaking—to ensure that when a product is intended or marketed for sleep, it will indeed be safe for an infant to sleep.”

The new federal safety rule incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F3118-17a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Inclined Sleep Products), with modifications to make the standard more stringent. The new standard requires that infant sleep products that do not already meet the requirements of an existing CPSC sleep standard now must be tested to confirm that the angle of the sleep surface is 10 degrees or lower, and that the products comply with the agency’s Safety Standard for Bassinets and Cradles.


For more tips on baby safety, recalled baby products and to view CPSC’s newest baby safety PSA, “Back to Basics,” visit CPSC’s Safe Sleep and Crib Safety Education Center here

Parents and Caregivers Reminded of Safe Sleep Guidance WASHINGTON, D.C. – Babies spend most of their time sleeping, so the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents and caregivers to get “back to basics” to make sure that baby’s sleep spaces are safe. Parents-and-Caregivers-Reminded-of-Safe-Sleep-Guidance
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC Issues Life-Saving Tips to Millions in the Path of Tropical Storm Nicholas

1 month ago
CPSC Issues Life-Saving Tips to Millions in the Path of Tropical Storm Nicholas kcoleman@cpsc.gov Tue, 09/14/2021 - 13:24 Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 12:00 21-196

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Tropical Storm Nicholas threatens the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to be prepared for power outages and to take steps now to keep their families safe. 

Loss of Power—Using a Generator Safely

Consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power.  Many use portable generators and other devices for sources of power and heat, exposing themselves to increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire. Consumers who plan to use a portable generator in the case of a power loss should follow these tips:

  • Operate portable generators outside only, at least 20 feet away from the house, and direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home and any other buildings that someone could enter.  
  • Never operate a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed, or on the porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of lethal levels of CO. 
  • Check that portable generators have had proper maintenance, and read and follow the labels, instructions, and warnings on the generator and in the owner’s manual.
  • CPSC urges consumers to look for and ask retailers for a portable generator equipped with a safety feature to shut off automatically when certain CO concentrations are present.  

Poisonous carbon monoxide from a portable generator can kill in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It’s colorless and odorless. According to the CDC, more than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning. CPSC estimates about 78 consumers die each year from CO poisoning caused by portable generators. CO poisoning from portable generators can happen so quickly that exposed persons may become unconscious before recognizing the symptoms of nausea, dizziness, or weakness.

 To help avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup at home, outside separate sleeping areas, and on each floor of your home.
  • Make sure CO alarms at home are working properly, by pressing the test button and replacing batteries, if needed. Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm when it sounds. Get outside immediately. Then call 911.

Dangers with Charcoal and Candles

  • Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Do not cook on a charcoal grill in a garage, even with the door open.
  • Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If using candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when leaving the room and before sleeping.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are installed on every level of the house and inside each bedroom. Never ignore a ringing smoke alarm. Get outside immediately. Call 911.

If the storm causes flooding:

  • Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard unplugged electrical or gas appliances that have been wet, because they pose electric shock and fire hazards. Do not touch electrical or gas appliances that are still plugged in.
  • Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home, and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.

If the storm causes gas leaks:

  • Smell or hear gas? Do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Leave the home and contact local gas authorities from outside.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that you may need to adjust any preparedness actions, based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and local officials.  

Remember, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc, causing mass destruction and loss of life.  Be informed, be prepared, and be safe!

CPSC resources:

Carbon Monoxide Safety Center

Links to broadcast quality video for media: 

Hurricane Safety b-roll: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/XtFQ7YqK0x

Flood safety b-roll:  https://spaces.hightail.com/space/thCBWTX157

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410. 

CPSC Issues Life-Saving Tips to Millions in the Path of Tropical Storm Nicholas CPSC-Issues-Life-Saving-Tips-to-Millions-in-the-Path-of-Tropical-Storm-Nicholas
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

Protect Your Family Before and After Hurricane Ida

1 month 2 weeks ago
Protect Your Family Before and After Hurricane Ida jgalbo@cpsc.gov Fri, 09/03/2021 - 01:28 Friday, August 27, 2021 - 12:00 21-190

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Hurricane Ida threatens several states, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to be prepared for power outages and to take steps now to keep their families safe.

Before the Storm

Consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power.  Many use portable generators and other devices for sources of power and heat, exposing themselves to increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire. If you plan to use a portable generator in the case of a power loss, follow these tips to prepare before the storm:

  • Make sure CO and smoke alarms in your home are working properly, by pressing the test button and replacing batteries, if needed.         
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home, outside separate sleeping areas, and on each floor of your home.
  • Check that your generator has had proper maintenance, and read and follow the labels, instructions, and warnings on the generator and in the owner’s manual.

Poisonous carbon monoxide from a portable generator can kill you and your family in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It’s colorless and odorless. According to the CDC, more than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning. CPSC estimates about 78 consumers die each year from CO poisoning caused by portable generators.

After the Storm

The storm has hit, and the power is out. Now what? Follow these life-saving tips:

  • Operate portable generators outside only, at least 20 feet away from the house; and direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home and any other buildings that someone could enter.  
  • Never operate a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed, or on the porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of lethal levels of CO.
  • Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm when it sounds. Get outside immediately. Then call 911. 
  • CO poisoning from portable generators can happen so quickly that exposed persons may become unconscious before recognizing the symptoms of nausea, dizziness, or weakness.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that you may need to adjust any preparedness actions, based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. 

Other product safety hazards during hurricane season include:

CHARCOAL DANGER:

- Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Do not cook on a charcoal grill in a garage, even with the door open.

CANDLES:

- Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room and before sleeping.

WET APPLIANCES:

- Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard unplugged electrical or gas appliances that have been wet, because they pose electric shock and fire hazards. Do not touch electrical or gas appliances that are still plugged in.

- Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.

GAS LEAKS: IF YOU SMELL IT, EVACUATE AND REPORT IT.

If you smell or hear gas, do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Leave your home and contact local gas authorities from outside.

In Case of Evacuation/COVID-19 Concerns:

  • If you must evacuate, the CDC recommends having additional items on hand, such as cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products to help prevent the spread of viruses at the shelter. CPSC also reminds consumers to keep all cleaning products and medications out of reach of children, and keep these items in their original child-resistant containers at your evacuation site.

Remember, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc, causing mass destruction and loss of life.  Be informed, be prepared, and be safe!

CPSC resources:

Carbon Monoxide Safety Center

NSN Poster – Safety in the Storm, When Hurricanes Happen

PSA - Hurricane Season is in Full Swing

 

Links to broadcast quality video for media:

Hurricane Safety b-roll: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/XtFQ7YqK0x

Flood safety b-roll:  https://spaces.hightail.com/space/thCBWTX157

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410.

Protect Your Family Before and After Hurricane Ida Protect-Your-Family-Before-and-After-Hurricane-Ida
jgalbo@cpsc.gov

Keep Your Family Safe as Tropical Depression Ida Continues its Path of Destruction

1 month 2 weeks ago
Keep Your Family Safe as Tropical Depression Ida Continues its Path of Destruction kcoleman@cpsc.gov Fri, 09/03/2021 - 01:28 Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 12:00 21-191

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Tropical Depression Ida continues on its path of destruction through the Gulf states and barrels northeast toward the mid-Atlantic region, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to be prepared for power outages and to take steps now to keep their families safe. 

Before the Storm

Consumers need to be especially careful during a loss of electrical power.  Many use portable generators and other devices for sources of power and heat, exposing themselves to increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fire. If you plan to use a portable generator in the case of a power loss, follow these tips to prepare before the storm:

  • Make sure CO and smoke alarms in your home are working properly, by pressing the test button and replacing batteries, if needed.         

  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or CO alarms with battery backup in your home, outside separate sleeping areas, and on each floor of your home.

  • Check that your generator has had proper maintenance, and read and follow the labels, instructions, and warnings on the generator and in the owner’s manual.

Poisonous carbon monoxide from a portable generator can kill you and your family in minutes. CO is an invisible killer. It’s colorless and odorless. According to the CDC, more than 400 people die each year in the United States from CO poisoning. CPSC estimates about 78 consumers die each year from CO poisoning caused by portable generators. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that you may need to adjust any preparedness actions, based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

 

After the Storm

The storm has hit, and the power is out. Now what? Follow these life-saving tips:

  • Operate portable generators outside only, at least 20 feet away from the house; and direct the generator’s exhaust away from the home and any other buildings that someone could enter.  

  • Never operate a portable generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, shed, or on the porch. Opening doors or windows will not provide enough ventilation to prevent the buildup of lethal levels of CO. 

  • Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm when it sounds. Get outside immediately. Then call 911.  

  • CO poisoning from portable generators can happen so quickly that exposed persons may become unconscious before recognizing the symptoms of nausea, dizziness, or weakness.

Other product safety hazards during hurricane season include:

CHARCOAL DANGER: 

- Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal levels of carbon monoxide. Do not cook on a charcoal grill in a garage, even with the door open.

CANDLES:

- Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room and before sleeping.

WET APPLIANCES:

- Look for signs that your appliances have gotten wet. Discard unplugged electrical or gas appliances that have been wet, because they pose electric shock and fire hazards. Do not touch electrical or gas appliances that are still plugged in.

- Before using your appliances, have a professional or your gas or electric company evaluate your home and replace all gas control valves, electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and fuses that have been under water.

GAS LEAKS: IF YOU SMELL IT, EVACUATE AND REPORT IT.

If you smell or hear gas, do not turn lights on or off, or use electrical equipment, including a phone. Leave your home and contact local gas authorities from outside.

In Case of Evacuation/COVID-19 Concerns

  • If you must evacuate, the CDC recommends having additional items on hand, such as cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products to help prevent the spread of viruses at the shelter. CPSC also reminds consumers to keep all cleaning products and medications out of reach of children, and keep these items in their original child-resistant containers at your evacuation site.

Remember, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc, causing mass destruction and loss of life.  Be informed, be prepared, and be safe!

CPSC resources:

Carbon Monoxide Safety Center

Links to broadcast quality video for media: 

Flood safety b-roll:  https://spaces.hightail.com/space/thCBWTX157

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410. 

Keep Your Family Safe as Tropical Depression Ida Continues its Path of Destruction As Tropical Depression Ida continues on its path of destruction through the Gulf states and barrels northeast toward the mid-Atlantic region, CPSC is warning consumers to be prepared for power outages and to take steps now to keep their families safe. Keep-Your-Family-Safe-as-Tropical-Depression-Ida-Continues-its-Path-of-Destruction
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

“Think Safety First” As Kids Head Back to School

1 month 2 weeks ago
“Think Safety First” As Kids Head Back to School kcoleman@cpsc.gov Fri, 09/03/2021 - 01:28 Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 12:00 21-180

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As schools reopen this fall and kids head back to the classroom, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and students to “Think Safety First.”  Every year, thousands of children are injured on playgrounds, while playing sports, or as they walk, bike, skateboard or scooter to and from school.

Prevent injuries and illness before they happen by following these safety tips when heading back to school:

Mask Up:

  • Safety Tip: To stay safe from COVID-19, follow local, state and federal guidance on face mask wearing at school.

Distracted Walking: 

  • Safety Tip: Don’t text or talk on the phone while walking. Distracted walking can be dangerous, especially near traffic and crosswalks.
  • For the two-year period from 2019 to 2020, there were an estimated 4,600 emergency room-treated injuries associated with walking while distracted on the phone.

Bicycles:

  • Safety Tip: Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding, or riding a scooter to school, or while playing sports.
  • From fractures to contusions and lacerations, there were an estimated annual average of 144,100 emergency room-treated bicycle injuries from 2017 to 2019, to children under 16 years old.

Playgrounds:

  • Safety Tip: Leave necklaces and clothing with drawstrings at home to reduce strangulation hazards. Check for “S” hooks, protruding bolt ends, and sharp points or edges on playground equipment. Don’t play on slides or other surfaces that are burning hot. Check that the playground has good impact surfacing such as nine inches of mulch/wood chips.
  • Each year, more than 206,700 injuries to children under the age of 16 occur on playgrounds. CPSC has investigated 43 deaths associated with playground equipment that happened since 2014.

Backpacks:

  • Safety Tip: Lighten the load! Make sure backpacks for students are not too heavy.
  • Heavy backpacks can hurt young backs! From 2017 to 2019, an estimated annual average of 7,500 kids under 19 years old were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to backpacks.

Movable Soccer Goal Deaths and Injuries:

  • Safety Tip: Make sure movable soccer goals are anchored securely!
  • CPSC is aware of 12 reported fatalities involving children under the age of 16, which occurred between 2000 and 2019, due to soccer goal tip overs or structural failure. From 2000 to 2019, there were about 3,400 emergency room-treated soccer goal tip over- or structural failure-related injuries involving children under the age of 16.

Chemistry Classroom Experiments:

  • Safety TipDon’t get burned by science! Parents: Attend back-to-school night, or contact the teacher and ask about precautions that will be taken during experiments using fuel and flames.
  • To minimize the risk of injuries to students from flame jetting--a sudden and possibly violent flash fire that can occur when pouring flammable liquids from a container over an exposed flame or other ignition source--schools and teachers should:
    • Conduct a hazard analysis and take proper precautions.
    • Consider safer demonstrations, such as a flame test.
    • If pouring flammable liquids, use the smallest beakers possible, and keep larger containers out of the classroom. Do not use flasks.

Don’t become a statistic! “Think Safety First” when heading back to school.

Related poster:

NSN Poster: Think Safety First as Kids Head Back to School

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410.

“Think Safety First” As Kids Head Back to School CPSC is urging parents and students to “Think Safety First.” Think-Safety-First-As-Kids-Head-Back-to-School
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC Urges Consumers to Schedule a Safety Check-Up on Products in Their Homes

2 months ago
CPSC Urges Consumers to Schedule a Safety Check-Up on Products in Their Homes kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Monday, June 21, 2021 - 12:00 21-152 Report Unsafe Products to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. –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

Photo

Nursery products

Registration card – These should come with baby products. Fill it out, or register the product on the firm’s website.

Toys

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.

Hair dyers

Check hair dryers for an immersion-protection device. This is required to protect consumers from electrical shock and electrocutions.

Bicycle helmets

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.

 

Extension cords

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. 

Children’s sleepwear

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.

Art supplies

Children’s art supplies should be labelled: "CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236," to protect kids from toxic ingredients. 

Rugs

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.”

Fireworks

Warning labels: Consumer fireworks have warning labels describing the hazard and function of a fireworks device.

 

Seasonal lighting

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.

CPSC Urges Consumers to Schedule a Safety Check-Up on Products in Their Homes WASHINGTON, D.C. –We all know that an annual medical checkup is a good idea to help us stay healthy. CPSC-Urges-Consumers-to-Schedule-a-Safety-Check-Up-on-Products-in-Their-Homes
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

Vacation Rental Homes Can Pose a Deadly Hazard - Kids Can Be Crushed to Death in Dangerous Home Elevator Gaps

2 months ago
Vacation Rental Homes Can Pose a Deadly Hazard - Kids Can Be Crushed to Death in Dangerous Home Elevator Gaps kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 12:00 21-153

WASHINGTON, D.C. Vacation rental homes have become a popular alternative to hotels and motels during the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding travelers to take safety with them, especially when staying in vacation rental homes with residential elevators. 

Residential elevators can pose a deadly hazard. Consumers who have a residential elevator at home, or use one at vacation rentals, should be aware that a simple push of a button can swiftly turn into a tragedy. In fact, residential elevators were linked to 4,600 injuries and 22 deaths from 1981 through 2019.

CPSC is warning consumers with home elevators, and those who visit homes with elevators, to be aware of a deadly gap that may exist between the elevator door and the exterior (i.e., hoistway) door inside the home. Children, some as young as two, up to age 16, have been crushed to death in this gap. In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia and other horrific and lifelong injuries.

Typical Residential Elevator with Swinging Hoistway Door and Accordion Car Door

A Deadly Gap:
The distance between the inner elevator car door or gate and the exterior hoistway door inside the home may be too deep to protect small children. If the gap is too deep between any exterior hoistway door and the farthest point of the car door (which is often an accordion door), a child can enter and close the exterior hoistway door without opening the interior car door, and become entrapped between the two doors, resulting in serious injuries, or death, when the elevator car moves. 

Residential elevators are commonly found in multilevel homes, townhomes, vacation homes and rentals, in addition to large homes that have been converted to inns or bed-and-breakfast hotels. Elevator installers should never allow any gap greater than four inches deep to exist in an elevator entryway, as measured in accordance with ASME A17.1-2016 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.

How to Protect Kids and Fix the Gap:

  • Consumers concerned about elevator safety, should lock the elevator itself in an unusable position, or lock all exterior (hoistway) doors to the elevator.
  • CPSC urges consumers to have a qualified elevator inspector examine their home elevator for this dangerous gap and other potential safety hazards, ensuring that the elevator complies with the requirements of the ASME A17.3-2017 Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators.
  • Dangerous gaps can be eliminated by placing space guards on the back of the exterior hoistway door, or by installing an electronic monitoring device that deactivates the elevator when a child is detected in the gap. Consumers can contact their elevator manufacturer, or an elevator installer, to obtain these critical safety devices and protect children from this hidden hazard.

Residential Elevator Recalls:

CPSC will continue its investigation into the safety of residential elevators, and advises consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at www.SaferProducts.gov.

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye in CPSC’s Office of Communications at

nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410.

 

Vacation Rental Homes Can Pose a Deadly Hazard - Kids Can Be Crushed to Death in Dangerous Home Elevator Gaps WASHINGTON, D.C. Vacation rental homes have become a popular alternative to hotels and motels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vacation-Rental-Homes-Can-Pose-a-Deadly-Hazard-Kids-Can-Be-Crushed-to-Death-in-Dangerous-Home-Elevator-Gaps
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

New Federal Safety Standard for Upholstered Furniture Fires Goes into Effect

2 months ago
New Federal Safety Standard for Upholstered Furniture Fires Goes into Effect kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Friday, June 25, 2021 - 12:00 21-154

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) new mandatory federal flammability standard for upholstered furniture goes into effect on June 25, 2021. Upholstered furniture manufactured, imported or reupholstered on or after that date must comply with the standard.

House Fires Are Deadly

In a house fire, a consumer has just minutes to escape before their home is engulfed in flames. Upholstered furniture in a house fire is frequently the first thing to catch fire, presents a significant source of fuel for fires, and is associated with about 390 deaths each year, which is 17 percent of deaths in home fires, according to CPSC’s annual Residential Fire Loss Estimates report.

What Is Upholstered Furniture?

The federal standard applies to upholstered furniture, which is furniture with an upholstered seat, back or arm and that is meant for indoor use in a home, other places of assembly or public accommodation where consumers will customarily use the upholstered furniture. What is not covered by this standard?  Futons, cushions and pads used on outdoor furniture, certain durable infant and toddler products and products prescribed by a healthcare professional are excluded from the standard.

Consumers Should Look for the Label, Starting June 25, 2022

Upholstered furniture will be required to have a permanent label, stating: “Complies with U.S. CPSC requirements for upholstered furniture flammability.” CPSC recommends that manufacturers make the label easy for consumers to find and identify. CPSC will enforce the new federal label requirement beginning on June 25, 2022. 

The federal standard for upholstered furniture was mandated by Congress in the 2021 COVID relief law.  CPSC’s standard adopts the State of California’s furniture flammability standard, TB-117-2013, which addresses smoldering fires.

For more on the new standard, see CPSC’s frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).

New Federal Safety Standard for Upholstered Furniture Fires Goes into Effect CPSC's new mandatory federal flammability standard for upholstered furniture goes into effect on June 25, 2021. New-Federal-Safety-Standard-for-Upholstered-Furniture-Fires-Goes-into-Effect
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

Fireworks-Related Injuries and Deaths Spiked During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2 months ago
Fireworks-Related Injuries and Deaths Spiked During the COVID-19 Pandemic kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 12:00 21-155 Fireworks Safety Is Critical for 4th of July Celebrations

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The nation saw a large increase in people being hurt and killed by fireworks last year. Many municipalities cancelled July 4th public fireworks displays during the COVID- 19 pandemic, which may have spurred consumers to use fireworks on their own.

“These tragic deaths and injuries are reminders of just how dangerous fireworks can be,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Consumers should enjoy professional fireworks displays from a distance, and be extra vigilant when using consumer-type fireworks.” 

A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finds a 50 percent increase in deaths and injuries from fireworks-related incidents in 2020, compared to 2019.

  • At least 18 people died from fireworks-related incidents in 2020, compared to 12 reported for the previous year.
  • About 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks injuries in 2020. There were about 10,000 ER-treated fireworks injuries in 2019.

Other important highlights from CPSC’s report:

  • Of the 18 deaths, 8 of the victims (44 percent) had used alcohol or drugs prior to the incident.
  • Most fireworks-related injuries (about 66 percent) occurred in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday (from June 21, 2020 to July 21, 2020). During that one-month period:
    • Severe injuries related to fireworks increased in 2020. More consumers were admitted to the hospital, or were transferred to another hospital for treatment, due to severe fireworks injuries in 2020 (21 percent) versus 2019 (12 percent).
    • Young adults ages 20-24 saw the biggest spike in visits to the hospital emergency room for fireworks-related injuries, compared to any age group last year, 17 injuries per 100,000 people in 2020 versus 2.8 per 100,000 people in 2019.
    • Firecrackers were the biggest source of ER-treated fireworks injuries (1,600), followed by sparklers (900).
    • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers, at 30 percent. The head, face and ears were the second most injured body parts, at 22 percent. Eye injuries were third at 15 percent.
    • Burns were the most common fireworks-related, emergency room-treated injury, at 44 percent. 

Tips to Celebrate Safely

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from the fireworks device quickly.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water, and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, to prevent a trash fire, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

CPSC fireworks demonstration b-roll

Demonstrations of fireworks dangers https://spaces.hightail.com/space/leQcRVoZfH

Firework Information Center https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks 

See our multi-media news release at https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8910351-cpsc-report-fireworks-related-injuries-deaths-spiked-pandemic/

For more information, contact Patty Davis, CPSC’s Office of Communications, at pdavis@cpsc.gov at 240-863-8585.

Fireworks-Related Injuries and Deaths Spiked During the COVID-19 Pandemic WASHINGTON, D.C. –The nation saw a large increase in people being hurt and killed by fireworks last year. Fireworks-Related-Injuries-and-Deaths-Spiked-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC Sues thyssenkrupp Access Corp. Over Deadly Gap Hazard in Residential Elevators; Action Prompted by Three Incidents: One Child Died, Another Permanently Disabled, and a Third Hospitalized After Becoming Entrapped

2 months ago
CPSC Sues thyssenkrupp Access Corp. Over Deadly Gap Hazard in Residential Elevators; Action Prompted by Three Incidents: One Child Died, Another Permanently Disabled, and a Third Hospitalized After Becoming Entrapped kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 12:00 21-161

WASHINGTON, D.C. –To prevent children from suffering further serious injury or death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) filed an administrative complaint against thyssenkrupp Access Corp. (thyssenkrupp), alleging that thyssenkrupp’s residential elevators contain defects that present a substantial product hazard. CPSC alleges that certain models of thyssenkrupp residential elevators manufactured and distributed through 2012 were installed with a hazardous gap between the exterior hoistway door and the interior elevator car door or gate. The models include, but are not limited to: Chaparral, Destiny, LEV, LEV II, LEV II Builder, Rise, Volant, Windsor, Independence, and Flexi-Lift models. thyssenkrupp has refused to conduct a voluntary recall of the hazardous residential elevators.

Children can become entrapped when a residential elevator is installed with excessive space between the exterior hoistway door and the interior elevator car door or gate, and suffer serious injuries or death when the elevator is called to another floor. There have been three incidents involving thyssenkrupp residential elevators, including a 2-year-old child who died in 2017, and a 3-year-old child left permanently disabled in 2010. Additionally, in 2019, a 4-year-old boy was hospitalized after a crush injury.

“These injuries and deaths are ghastly,” said Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “The gaps in residential elevators are truly a hidden hazard for homeowners, and for anyone who is visiting or renting a home with an elevator.”

The complaint charges that the residential elevators are defective for a variety of reasons, including defects in thyssenkrupp’s installation materials and defects in the elevators’ design.

At least 16,800 residential elevators were manufactured and distributed by ThyssenKrupp Access Manufacturing, LLC, thyssenkrupp Access Corp., Access Industries, Inc., or National Wheel-O-Vator Company, Inc., through 2012. The residential elevators were distributed by third-party builders, residential elevator dealers and installers for $15,000 to $25,000 for a two-landing installation.

The Commission voted 3-1 to approve the complaint, which seeks, among other things, that thyssenkrupp be ordered to notify the public of the defect and offer consumers a remedy that includes a free inspection, and if necessary, installation of safety devices, such as space guards, at no cost to consumers.

CPSC urges consumers to disable or block children’s access to the thyssenkrupp residential elevators to prevent a potential deadly incident.

CPSC Sues thyssenkrupp Access Corp. Over Deadly Gap Hazard in Residential Elevators; Action Prompted by Three Incidents: One Child Died, Another Permanently Disabled, and a Third Hospitalized After Becoming Entrapped CPSC filed an administrative complaint against thyssenkrupp Access Corp. (thyssenkrupp), alleging that thyssenkrupp’s residential elevators contain defects that present a substantial product hazard. CPSC-Sues-thyssenkrupp-Access-Corp-Over-Deadly-Gap-Hazard-in-Residential-Elevators
  • Typical Entrapment Hazard Scenario Depicting Child Trapped Between the Exterior Hoistway Door and Interior Elevator Car Door or Gate
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

As Family Vacations Resume, CPSC Warns of Safety Hazards in Vacation Rental Homes

2 months ago
As Family Vacations Resume, CPSC Warns of Safety Hazards in Vacation Rental Homes kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 12:00 21-162

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, millions of Americans are traveling this summer. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to look for critical safety features when staying in vacation rental homes.

Travelers should make sure their vacation rental home has smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, in addition to pool safety and home elevator safety features, if applicable.

Among the most important safety tips for traveling consumers are the following:

Fire Safety

  • Check for adequate smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
    • Carbon monoxide alarms should be on every level of the home outside sleeping areas.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the home.
  • Have a fire escape plan (providing two ways out each room).

Child Safety

  • Avoid deadly furniture and TV tip-overs; don’t let children climb on furniture, and don’t place toys and remotes where children might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet or out of reach of children.
  • Keep all window cords out of reach of children.
  • Keep baby’s sleep space free from pillows and blankets, and use cribs that meet CPSC safety standards.
  • Even when traveling, ensure that baby sleeps in a flat crib or play yard with a well-fitting sheet.
  • Check SaferProducts.gov to be sure none of the child or infant products in a vacation rental are subject to a recall. If they are, do not use them, and notify the property or rental manager.

Pool Safely

At vacation rental homes with pools:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult Water Watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone or otherwise be distracted.
    • Child drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four years old.
  • There should be an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.
  • Pools and spas should be surrounded by a fence at least four feet high with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Pools and spas should have drain covers that meet federal standards; consumers can ask property or rental managers for confirmation.
  • Life-saving equipment, such as life rings or reaching poles, should be available for use.
  • Make sure kids learn to swim.
  • Keep children away from pool drains.
  • Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.

Home Elevator Safety

At vacation rental homes with elevators:

  • Be aware of a deadly gap (greater than 4 inches deep) that may exist between the interior and exterior doors of home elevators.
    • Children, from ages 2 through 16, have been crushed to death in this gap. In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia and other horrific and lifelong injuries. 
  • Lock the elevator so that it cannot be accessed by children; or lock all exterior (hoistway) doors to the elevator.
  • Don’t let children play with or around residential elevators.
    • Residential elevators were linked to 4,600 injuries and 22 deaths from 1981 through 2019. 

Related poster:

NSN Poster – Take Safety With You

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at nnye@cpsc.gov or at 240-204-4410.

As Family Vacations Resume, CPSC Warns of Safety Hazards in Vacation Rental Homes WASHINGTON, D.C. – As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, millions of Americans are traveling this summer. As-Family-Vacations-Resume-CPSC-Warns-of-Safety-Hazards-in-Vacation-Rental-Homes
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC Sues Amazon to Force Recall of Hazardous Products Sold on Amazon.com

2 months ago
CPSC Sues Amazon to Force Recall of Hazardous Products Sold on Amazon.com kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 12:00 21-165

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today filed an administrative complaint against Amazon.com, the world’s largest retailer, to force Amazon to accept responsibility for recalling potentially hazardous products sold on Amazon.com.

“Today’s vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency,” says Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “But it’s a huge step across a vast desert—we must grapple with how to deal with these massive third-party platforms more efficiently, and how best to protect the American consumers who rely on them.”

The complaint charges that the specific products are defective and pose a risk of serious injury or death to consumers and that Amazon is legally responsible to recall them. The named products include 24,000 faulty carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm, numerous children’s sleepwear garments that are in violation of the flammable fabric safety standard risking burn injuries to children, and nearly 400,000 hair dryers sold without the required immersion protection devices that protect consumers against shock and electrocution.

The Commission voted 3-1 to approve the complaint, which seeks to force Amazon, as a distributor of the products, to stop selling these products, work with CPSC staff on a recall of the products and to directly notify consumers who purchased them about the recall and offer them a full refund. Although Amazon has taken certain action with respect to some of the named products, the complaint charges that those actions are insufficient.

CPSC urges consumers to visit SaferProducts.gov to check for recalls prior to purchasing products and to report any incidents or injuries to the CPSC.

CPSC Sues Amazon to Force Recall of Hazardous Products Sold on Amazon.com WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today filed an administrative complaint against Amazon.com CPSC-Sues-Amazon-to-Force-Recall-of-Hazardous-Products-Sold-on-Amazon-com
kcoleman@cpsc.gov

CPSC Urges Vacation Rental Platforms, AirBnB, Vrbo, TripAdvisor and Others to Require Owners to Disable Home Elevators Immediately

2 months ago
CPSC Urges Vacation Rental Platforms, AirBnB, Vrbo, TripAdvisor and Others to Require Owners to Disable Home Elevators Immediately kcoleman@cpsc.gov Thu, 08/19/2021 - 12:40 Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 12:00 21-166

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Following another report of a tragic death of a young child in a residential elevator, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Acting Chairman Robert Adler today asked the vacation rental community for help. In a letter to vacation rental platforms, AirBnB, Vrbo, and others, Adler urged the companies to take steps immediately to protect vulnerable consumers.

“The agency is taking steps with the manufacturers, but we need the businesses that facilitate vacation rentals to join us,” said Adler. “These injuries and deaths are horrific, and we need property owners and rental agencies to disable elevators immediately until they have been inspected.”

Residential elevators pose a hidden and deadly hazard: small children can be crushed to death in a gap that may exist between the doors.  If the gap between any exterior (i.e., hoistway) door, and the farthest point of the inner door (which is often an accordion door) is too deep, a child can enter and close the hoistway door without opening the interior car door, and become entrapped between the two doors, resulting in serious injuries or death when the elevator car moves. Children, some as young as two, and as old as 12, have been crushed to death in this gap, suffering multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae and traumatic asphyxia. Other children have suffered devastating and lifelong injuries. Last week, a 7-year-old child was reported to have tragically died in a vacation home elevator in North Carolina.

Today’s letter is the first time the agency has publicly called on vacation rental businesses to take immediate action. Specifically, the letter asks rental companies to notify all renters immediately about the potential hazard via email, or in a warning box on their reservation or booking pages; immediately require all members or “hosts” using the platforms to lock outer access doors or otherwise disable the elevators in their properties, unless and until those members provide proof of an inspection, certifying that no hazardous gap exists; and require elevator inspections of anyone posting a listing going forward.

CPSC has issued warnings, recalls and a lawsuit concerning residential elevators.

For more safety information, see CPSC’s safety education messages on residential elevators.

CPSC will continue its investigation into the safety of residential elevators, and advises consumers to report any safety incident involving residential elevators at www.SaferProducts.gov.

 

CPSC Urges Vacation Rental Platforms, AirBnB, Vrbo, TripAdvisor and Others to Require Owners to Disable Home Elevators Immediately WASHINGTON, D.C. –Following another report of a tragic death of a young child in a residential elevator, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Acting Chairman Robert Adler today asked the vacation rental community for help. CPSC-Urges-Vacation-Rental-Platforms-AirBnB-Vrbo-TripAdvisor-and-Others-to-Require-Owners-to-Disable-Home-Elevators-Immediately
kcoleman@cpsc.gov
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