June is National Safety Month, and among the many things emphasized is home safety. Sponsored by the National Safety Council (NSC), National Home Safety Month covers a staggeringly large number of situations that can create harmful circumstances resulting in serious injury and death. Injury Facts 2017, released by the NSC, reported that 146,571 people died from an unintentional injury during the year of 2015. That’s more than the population of Columbia, SC — just in one year.
What types of injuries are we talking about? Generally, such injuries are classified as coming from the following causes:
- Suffocations and choking
- Fires and burns
- Medication accidents and overdoses
- Natural disasters.
While many objects in our lives can cause harm depending on the circumstances, one category of items appears to be creating a rise in harmful incidents and injuries. Are you wondering what we could be talking about? The answer is consumer products that we use on a regular basis in our homes.
Dangers from Consumer Products Have Increased
Incidents involving consumer products rose to their highest level in twenty years during the first quarter of 2017, surging 379 percent from the previous quarter, to 16,649 occurrences. Injuries reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that involved consumer products increased 141 percent from the previous quarter.
In Q1 2017, there were 65 recalls of various consumer items, approximately a 5 percent increase from the previous quarter. However, only four categories of objects accounted for 77.8 percent of all recalls:
- Nursery equipment and child supplies
- Home furnishings and fixtures
Among the consumer products, things such as defective swing sets, baby strollers, and outdoor chairs comprised 39 percent of the recalls, usually for injuries from falls. Some products—27.4 percent of them—were recalled because they caused lacerations. Choking hazards accounted for 8 percent of recalls. These numbers translate into nearly 75 percent of the top hazardous products that were recalled because they caused choking, bleeding, or falling. Falls and choking are two of the most common injuries in and around the home.
No one is certain why the incidence of injuries from consumer products has risen while recall numbers have nudged upwards only slightly. Michael Good, Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations for Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, which publishes their Recall Index, commented, “While consumer product recall levels have remained relatively flat, the number of problems reported to the CPSC has skyrocketed. The phrase ‘home sweet home’ may be challenged as a result of these findings.”
Concerned about Recalls?
If you want to find out whether you own something that has been recalled, or if you like to buy things secondhand but don’t want to gamble with your family’s safety, we have two sources for you:
- The main recalls page on the CPSC web site
- A central government source for recalls that includes consumer products, automotive, boating, food, medicine, environmental products, and cosmetics.
All items sold in the marketplace are designed and made by imperfect human beings, so there will always be a few things we buy and use that aren’t flawless. However, the rise in consumer product incidents is worrisome, because we are talking about objects that are used every day by the average family. If you or your loved ones have experienced injury and loss from a defective product, legal recourse may be something you want to explore.
When life goes wrong, we fight for what’s right.
If you or someone you care about has been injured by a defective product, you have the right to ask the manufacturer for money to cover your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability or loss. In order to protect that right, you should speak with the experienced South Carolina injury attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible. We have 80 years worth of experience helping injured South Carolinians seek justice, and we’re committed to ensuring that you get the best legal representation possible. For a free consultation, call us today at 1-803-454-1200, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form.