OnSafety is the Official Blog Site of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you'll find the latest safety information as well as important messages that will keep you and your family safe. We hope you'll visit often!

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Back-to-School is the Season for Safety

Back to School Banner

 

It’s that time of the year again!

Parents and caregivers have pencils, binders, backpacks and notebooks on their back-to-school shopping list. But, as the countdown begins and students head back to school, what should you have on the back-to-school “safety” list?

Here are a few things you should pencil in:

  1. If your child bikes to school, make sure he/she has the appropriate helmet that fits his/her head properly and is worn correctly.  Check out “Which Helmet for Which Activity” for guidance.
  2. Make sure playground equipment has been inspected and maintained.  There are more than 200,000 injuries on playground each year—and many of them are serious.  Our Public Playground Safety Handbook is a great source to learn about how to design and install a safer playground.
  3. Take the drawstrings out of your child’s jackets and sweatshirts to prevent a strangulation hazard on playgrounds and school bus doors.
  4. Visit CPSC.gov  to check for recalls on your new and used back to school products.
  5. Be sure to check out our ABCs of school safety video with former CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

A.  Always wear the right helmet

B.  Be safe and have fun

C.  Careful with the clothing, Mom and Dad.

At CPSC, we hope all kids have a safe school year and do great in the classroom.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/08/back-to-school-is-the-season-for-safety/

Middle schoolers wanted for poster contest!

Calling all middle schoolers!  CPSC is hosting a poster contest on carbon monoxide safety. CO20ContestBrochure

Have you ever heard of carbon monoxide? CO is a poisonous gas. It’s also called the invisible killer, because you can’t see or smell it, and it takes the lives of many people each year.

You can get CO poisoning from:

  • A car left running in the garage
  • The gas furnace in your home not functioning properly
  • A portable generator running in an enclosed space, basement or living area
  • A charcoal grill used inside your home

What can you do to prevent CO poisoning?

  • Make sure your parents have a professional inspection of your furnace, fireplace and other fuel-burning appliances every year.
  • Have CO alarms in your house.
  • Never use generators or charcoal grills inside your home.
  • Draw a poster about the dangers of carbon monoxide and what you can do to prevent CO poisoning and enter it into CPSC’s contest at www.cpsc.gov/COContest!!

You can WIN prize money. CPSC will award $500 to the top 10 finalists (three from each grade and one winner of the public vote) and another $1,000 will go to one lucky grand prize winner. Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades can enter.

Want to know more? Check out our contest at www.cpsc.gov/CO. Watch our video for more info too.  Vote for your favorite poster. Draw a poster, save a life, win a cash prize! The contest runs through February 2015.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/08/middle-schoolers-wanted-for-poster-contest/

Don’t let injuries from fireworks become part of your tradition this holiday

Fireworks

Blog en español

Often, when thinking of the Fourth of July, one of the first things that come to mind are big, beautiful fireworks, with vibrant colors that light up a summer night’s sky. In the midst of all this holiday grandeur, it is important to understand fireworks safety and how to prevent tragedy during your July 4 celebration.

In 2013, 65 percent or 7,400, of all firework injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4th. The majority of these injuries occurred simply because of the malfunction or improper use of legal and illegal fireworks.

Here are some ways fireworks can malfunction:

  • Inconsistent flight paths
  • Tip-over incidents
  • Early or late ignitions
  • Debris and blowouts

You, your friends, and family can be put at risk by:

  • Purchasing and using illegal fireworks;
  • Letting children use fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers;
  • Creating or modifying any fireworks;
  • Igniting fireworks too close to someone or something; and
  • Setting off fireworks improperly.

Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injured an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5.

Did you know that sparklers can burn so hot they can melt copper? A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter! That’s as hot as a blow torch!

Take a look at our “Un Spark-tacular Celebration” video on children with sparklers.

If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time, then move away quickly.
  • After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Know the risks. Prevent the tragedies. And, have an injury-free Fourth!

Celebrate with safety this Fourth of July.

 

For more information on fireworks safety, visit our Fireworks Safety Information Center.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/dont-let-injuries-from-fireworks-become-part-of-your-tradition-this-holiday/

CPSC Science: Fireworks Injuries 2014 Update

Blog en español

We have an updated version of our Fireworks Injuries infographic. The risks are the same. The only change is in the numbers. We also post these infographics on Flickr for easy sharing.

Lesiones con Fuegos Artificiales

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries-2014/

The “Regulation Wizard”— Helping Small- and Micro- Businesses Produce Safe & Compliant Products

On June 18, the President hosts the first-ever White House Maker Faire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Small Business Ombudsman will be there to announce a collaboration with Etsy.com and 18F to support “makers” and small businesses through CPSC’s development of a new “regulation wizard.” The online tool will provide consumer product safety requirements for inventors, makers and entrepreneurs bringing new products to market.

The “maker movement” links long-standing American traditions of tinkering, inventing and entrepreneurship with newer technologies, such as desktop laser cutters, new design software and additional desktop machine tools. These new tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything, oftentimes more quickly and without the costly infrastructure previously required.
CPSC has recognized the increasing importance of these small- and micro- businesses—these makers— in creating new, innovative, fun and useful products. CPSC continues its efforts to “take safety to the source” by working with these businesses as they design, develop, and manufacture to make sure their products are safe and compliant with safety requirements.

The new wizard will catalog safety requirements, which can sometimes be hard to find and decipher, and present them in a form that will be accessible to all businesses. This will allow small- and micro- businesses to spend less time trying to find applicable safety regulations and more time trying to make sure their new product meets or exceeds those requirements.

CPSC, through its Small Business Ombudsman, is developing the “regulation wizard” utilizing open-source software tools, developed by the General Service Administration’s (GSA) innovative technology startup 18F. CPSC is populating the “regulation wizard” with data to create an application that will provide an easy-to-understand and cost-effective way for small businesses and makers to cut through red tape. Once built, CPSC will invite users of Etsy.com and other small- and micro- businesses to a collaborative “data jam” session to make sure this publicly available information from CPSC performs as promised and is designed in a way to best help these small businesses find and comply with all applicable safety regulations for their new consumer products.

The White House is using #NationOfMakers on Twitter for the June 18 event. For updates from the CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman on this “regulation wizard” project and other important regulatory updates, follow him on Twitter @CPSCSmallBiz and sign up for email updates at www.cpsc.gov/email. If you are a maker or a small- or micro- business that is just beginning to learn CPSC requirements, navigate to www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation to learn more.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/the-regulation-wizard-helping-small-and-micro-businesses-produce-safe-compliant-products/