May 1999 Edition

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

With all of the product recalls lately, is there an organization that specializes in public safety?
 Yes and a very good one at that. They are called the Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC, an independent federal regulatory agency, helps keep American families safe by reducing the risk of injury or death from consumer products. Recalling dangerous products from the marketplace is one of the most important responsibilities of the CPSC. And CPSC's efforts to improve this process with its fast-track consumer product recall program they were recently recognized nationally as a leader in the field. The CPSC Fast-Track Consumer Product Recall Program was named a 1998 winner of the prestigious Innovations in American Government award, an awards program of the Ford Foundation and Harvard University, administered by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

CPSC

The CPSC fast-track product recall program speeds up the recall process and gets the most dangerous products out of people's homes. This saves industry and government both time and money, and reduces the potential for injuries and deaths to the public. Since CPSC instituted a pilot fast-track program in August 1995, more than 315 recalls involving about 50 million potentially defective products have been conducted. About half of CPSC's recalls are done under this streamlined system. The description of the CPSC fast-track product recall program is in CPSC's publication, the Consumer Product Safety Review, and can be viewed from their website or you can order the publication.
The CPSC has many excellent publications available and most of them are free. Some of the titles include:
  • Art Materials
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Child Drowning Prevention
  • Children's Furniture
  • Children's Safety
  • Consumer Product Safety Review
  • Electrical Safety
  • Fire and Burn Prevention
  • General Publications
  • Household Products and Home Safety
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Older Consumers
  • Poison Prevention
  • Power Equipment
  • Public Use Products
  • Recreational Safety
  • Reports
  • Toy Safety
The CPSC also has available a complete list of press releases (including recalls). All recalls and press releases are categorized by current month, last month’s or by topic (children's products, toys, etc.). At their website you can search for specific products using their search engine. You can also have new recalls and other information automatically e-mailed to you when issued.
One of the newer products the CPSC has available is the Baby Safety Shower HOW-TO-KIT. If you're looking for ways to help parents take better care of their children, consider organizing a baby safety shower -- a baby shower with a new twist. A baby safety shower is a learning party where all the activities revolve around home safety themes. Parents and caregivers have fun -- and leave with new ideas about keeping their babies safe at home. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Gerber Products Company developed this baby safety shower initiative to help good parents become even better ones. After all, no parent is born knowing about safety for their babies. The materials you'll need to get started are included in the Baby Safety Shower How-to Kit. Take special note of the Baby Safety Checklist, in both English and Spanish, which provides 12 important home safety tips that all parents should know.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. Contact CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov or write to: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207.

Siemens Announce Recall of GFCI Circuit Breakers Used with Hot Tubs and Spas

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., is voluntarily recalling about 144,000 2-pole ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) circuit breakers, typically used with hot tubs and spas to prevent shock or electrocution. These GFCI circuit breakers could overheat and lose their ability to prevent injury or death.
Siemens is not aware of any injuries involving these circuit breakers. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

GFCI

The 2-pole GFCI circuit breakers involved in this recall carry the Siemens or Murray brand name. The face of the black plastic units have a large, white button with the word "TEST" molded into it. The circuit breaker's rating is printed in white at each end of the handle's horizontal bar. A product identification sticker is affixed to the face of each unit near the "TEST" button. The word "Siemens" or "Murray" will be found at the top of the sticker, and the phrase "2 Pole Unit" is printed on the bottom of the sticker. Only 2-pole units are being recalled.
Consumers should switch the recalled GFCI circuit breaker to the "off" position immediately to disconnect the power supply. Consumers should call Siemens at (800) 443-2123 between 7 a.m. and 12 midnight EST Monday through Friday or between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST Saturday and Sunday to arrange to have qualified personnel replace the breakers at no charge to the consumer. Consumers should not attempt to remove the GFCI circuit breaker because high voltage can cause death or serious injury. Consumers should not use their hot tubs and spas until a replacement breaker has been installed. 

Quote Of The Month

"You can’t change the past - but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future?"

- Unknown 


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Matt Myers

Re/Max Executives

4845 LaVista Road

Tucker, Georgia 30084