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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Stand by Your Pan: Thanksgiving Cooking Fire Prevention

Blog in Spanish

Thanksgiving Day cooking fires are triple the number of cooking fires on an average day.

See the pan on fire:

Pan on fire on a stovetop

Here’s what happens when you try to put out the fire with water:

A firefighter sprays water on the pan fire, exploding it.

The pan fire explodes.

Stand by your pan. In the event of a fire:

  • Cover the pan with a lid to smother the flames.
  • Turn off the stove.
  • Call 911.
  • Do NOT use water or flour on the fire. They can make the fire worse.
  • Keep an extinguisher nearby and use it if necessary.

Similarly, a turkey fryer can go from start to fire in less than a minute.

Turkey fryer fire before the turkey goes into the fryer and the fire afterwards

  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
  • Always use the fryer outside and away from your home.
  • Don’t overfill the fryer with oil.
  • Don’t put a frozen turkey in hot oil.

For more fire safety tips, visit CPSC’s Fire Safety Information Center

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/11/stand-by-your-pan-thanksgiving-cooking-fire-prevention/

Replace Your Smoke Alarm and CO Alarm Batteries This Sunday

Blog in Spanish

Who doesn’t love fall Time Change Sunday? We get an extra hour. What are you going to do with your newfound time?

Here’s a thought: When you wake and find yourself with that extra hour, change all of the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms. Talk about time well spent.

Yes, it’s that important safety time of year, when we government folks, along with fire and other safety officials around the country, recommend that you spend some time focused on safety. There’s good reason for this, as these alarms save lives. Remember, they can only do their job if you do yours.

It’s simple:

When you do this:

Clock showing 2'o clock with arrow to clock showing 1 o'clock

Take a few moments to do this, too:

Hands inserting a new battery into a smoke alarm

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/replace-your-smoke-alarm-and-co-alarm-batteries-this-sunday/

Window Covering Cords: Don’t Tie Them Up, Get Them Away From Children

Earlier this week, we participated in a #CordSafety Twitter chat. These chats are useful to spread safety advice. Chats also give everyone insight into what parents are doing in their homes. Here’s an important question that was posed in the chat:

Mom It Forward Tweet: Giveaway Question! Please answer the following question: How do you keep cords out of the reach of kids?

The number of people who said they tie up the cords and place them up high surprised us. Here’s a sample of the responses:

  • When my kids were smaller, we tied up the cords to top of the blinds. Revisited often.
  • I tie them up and keep them out reach. From window cords to appliance cords.
  • Answer – rooms with blinds have the cords tied up at the top of the window.
  • I tie them in a loose bow, well out of reach. Keep furniture away, that they could stand on, teach safety

Tie ‘em up is risky. It gives parents a false sense of security. Cords can, and do, get tangled. Sometimes, this happens after parents tie the cords up to childproof the cords.

One child strangles in window cords nearly every month. Kids can easily wrap dangling or accessible cords around their necks and get tangled. Even cords tied up and high can be accessible to young children. There have been incidents of well-intentioned, tied up cords that have ended tragically.

Take a look at our blog on Kids and Cords from 2010. In there, we tell you about parents who regularly tried to tie hanging window covering cords up so that they did not hang down. Dad left his 22-month-old son for about 10 minutes, only to find him strangled in tangled cords.

This incident is not the only tragic tale of the “tie them up” approach. That’s why we recommend the following options for families with young children:

  • Cordless: Self explanatory. This is the safest option.
  • Shades with inaccessible cords: You shouldn’t be able to grab onto a cord in any way.

The top two are the best options. If new window coverings truly aren’t an option in your budget install a retrofit kit. These kits are a short-term fix, especially for mini-blinds made before 2000. Just remember that these kits do not address all the hazards posed by cords.

Exposed cords must be inaccessible to children. Tying them up and/or knotting them up can be dangerous. Look for products that are specifically designed to keep the cords out of sight and reach. If you don’t go cordless now, make the cords in your home inaccessible.

For more information on window covering cord safety, please visit CPSC’s Window Covering Cords Information Center.

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/window-covering-cords-dont-tie-them-up-get-them-away-from-children/

In Home Drowning Takes 87 Lives!

Blog in Spanish

Wherever you have water in and around your home, supervising small children is critical. (Remember our Baby’s Bath: What You Need to Know blog from last year?)  About once every four days, a child under the age of 5 drowns in a bathtub, bucket, toilet or landscape pond. Eighty percent of these incidents happen in a bathtub.  Wow! How many parents know that?

Take some time during Baby Safety Month to watch this video to see how you can help save 87 children. Use this YouTube link to share or embed the video on your site.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/09/in-home-drowning-takes-87-lives/

Kids Can Strangle in Window Cords

Blog in Spanishbaby doll being strangled by a window cord.

Do you live in military housing with your family?   Take a look at your window blinds or other type of window coverings, including Roman shades.  If you can see any dangling or accessible cords, your child is at risk.

Window coverings with exposed cords are one of the top hidden home hazards.  Kids can easily and quickly wrap the cords around their necks or become entangled in the cord loops.

In fact, one child strangles in window cords nearly every month and another child is hurt.  This can happen quickly and silently.  Sadly, some of the incidents occurred in military housing. We want to help you and your family to be safe and secure in your home.

So, on Military Consumer Protection Day (July 17 this year), examine your window blinds, curtains and shades closely. Look for exposed, looped cords. What you find may surprise you.  What you do about it can save your child’s life.

Here is how you can safeguard your windows.

  • Use cordless blinds or go with blinds or shades that have inaccessible cords. Many stores have these products available for purchase right now.
  • Move cribs, beds, and furniture away from windows, because children can climb on them and reach the cords on the window coverings.
  • Make loose cords inaccessible, if you are unable to replace older blinds and shades.

In the past, many consumers have used free repair kits from the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) to fix their blinds that were made before November 2000.  Keep in mind that these kits do not get rid of the dangling pull cord hazard with many common window blinds.

Kids and cords are a dangerous combination. So, if you have young children in your house, your safest approach is to go cordless or buy blinds with inaccessible cords.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/kids-can-strangle-in-window-cords/