The products we use in our homes each day can pose a serious risk of injury if they possess design or manufacturing defects. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, some of the most common products that cause catastrophic injury or fatality include toys, appliances, chemicals, household goods and all-terrain vehicles.
Take these steps to protect yourself and your family from defective consumer items.
Do your research
Before bringing a product into your home, check recalls.gov and saferproducts.gov for information about recalls, injuries associated with the product, or pending lawsuits or settlements affecting the manufacturer. Sticking with established brands rather than knock-offs decreases the likelihood of a defect, and shop at authorized retailers rather than unknown websites. If you do not receive a sales tax charge for your purchase, it may be a red flag indicating a counterfeit item.
Register your products
When you purchase an item, fill out the included registration card and send it in right away. This provides a record of your name, address, contact information and the serial number of the product that you bought. The manufacturer will use this information to let you know about recalls to the item that may affect its safe use. You can also sign up on the CPSC website for recall alerts.
Buy age-appropriate toys
The CPSC mandates labeling on children’s toys that indicates the safe age for use. Purchasing or allowing your children to play with toys designed for an older child can increase the risk of an injury such as falls or choking.
Use products wisely
Read the safety information before using or allowing your children to use a household product. Often, injuries occur because items such as car safety seats have been improperly fitted or installed.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury caused by a hazardous product, you could be eligible for legal damages. You must file a product liability personal injury lawsuits in Illinois within two years of the incident.