safety first


After Third Death Linked To Toppling Dressers, IKEA Expands “Repair Program”

Last July, following the deaths of two children crushed by falling IKEA dressers, the retailer and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a “repair program” that involved little more than sending out wall anchors to affected customers. Now, in the wake of a third death, IKEA is expanding that program. [More]

Underwriters Laboratories Will Start Testing, Certifying Hoverboards For Safety

Underwriters Laboratories Will Start Testing, Certifying Hoverboards For Safety

If hoverboard manufacturers are going to slap counterfeit safety marks on their products, Underwriters Laboratories figures it might as well start testing and certifying the scooters, a function it previously did not perform. [More]

American Airlines Should Not Have Told Family They Couldn’t Use FAA-Approved Safety Harness

American Airlines Should Not Have Told Family They Couldn’t Use FAA-Approved Safety Harness

Consumerist reader John and his wife were traveling with their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter on an American Airlines flight from New York to San Diego, and they’d brought along a special device to help keep their toddler safe, a CARES (Child Aviation Safety Restraint System) harness. Despite the fact that it’s approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, John says the flight’s pilot refused to take off while his daughter was using it in her seat. [More]

Reminder: A Balcony Is Not A Safe Place To Use Your Barbecue Smoker

Reminder: A Balcony Is Not A Safe Place To Use Your Barbecue Smoker

The residents of a New Jersey home learned an important safety lesson about outdoor cooking recently, albeit in a very unfortunate way: police say a house caught on fire after someone used a barbecue smoker on a balcony. [More]

After Two Reported Deaths, IKEA Offering Free Wall Anchoring Kit For 27M Dressers & Chests That May Tip Over

After Two Reported Deaths, IKEA Offering Free Wall Anchoring Kit For 27M Dressers & Chests That May Tip Over

When kids are around furniture, there’s no guarantee that they’ll treat chairs, tables and dressers as such, and instead, might see them as fun things to climb. But scaling furniture that isn’t meant to be scaled could cause it to tip over and crush a young person — especially if it isn’t anchored to the wall. That danger is leading IKEA to offer a free wall anchoring kit for a total of about 27 million chests and dressers, after two deaths were reported from furniture that fell and crushed children underneath. [More]

(whattheheckisthat on YouTube)

Amusement Park Takes Catapult Ride Out Of Operation Permanently After Cable Snaps

A catapult sounds like it could make for a fun ride, what with the implied image of objects flying through the air. But because that flinging needs to be under control if people are going to stay safe, one Wisconsin amusement park has taken its catapult ride out of commission after a cable snapped. [More]

(CBS Denver)

Colorado DOT Installing Fake Arcade Racing Game At Pot Shops To Warn Players Against Driving While High

Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado, state officials want to make sure that drivers know it’s not just alcohol that shouldn’t be with you behind the wheel, but pot as well. The state’s Department of Transportation is publicizing that message ahead of the April 20 (4/20) celebrations in the state by way of a fake driving game installed at various dispensaries. [More]


There’s A Shortage Of Safe Places For Truckers To Park And Rest

Multiple forces are making life inconvenient and unsafe for truck drivers across the country. Fuel is cheap, making transport by tractor-trailer cheaper. Federal regulations meant to prevent accidents require them to spend more time resting than in the past. Yet there’s a shortage of safe, secure places for truckers to park, which is crucial when they sleep in their vehicles. [More]


TSA Stepping Up Random Searches Amid New Concerns Over Terrorism

You might notice an uptick in the amount of random searches going on at airport gates around the country soon, as the Transportation Security Administration says it’s increasing security measures over recent terrorism incidents. [More]

(Dennis Raines)

Alibaba Promises To Help CPSC Keep Banned Merchandise Out Of The United States

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba is the world’s largest online marketplace, and its wide reach has a downside for consumer safety. Retailers and consumers alike use the site to source parts and products directly from factories abroad. The lack of intermediaries makes it very easy to order products that have been banned in the United States for safety reasons, and that’s why the Consumer Product Safety Commission has teamed up with the site. [More]

(The 818)

Baby Toy Company Thinks Fake Prescription Bottles Filled With Candy Are A Good Idea

Why is it a bad idea to give out prescription bottles filled with candy as freebies at a conference for blogging mothers? When those blogging moms bring their swag home to their kids, a child could draw the very dangerous conclusion that amber-colored bottles with white tops are filled with candy. [More]

Man Runs Into Burning Home To Rescue Xbox

Man Runs Into Burning Home To Rescue Xbox

There’s a story I used to tell my college roommate’s little sisters that would make them squeal with joy every single time: There was once a fire in my house (not the laughter part) and upon seeing the flames, my dad ripped the Nintendo console out of the wall in my brothers’ bedroom, dashed downstairs and got everyone — and the Nintendo — safely out of the house. That’s how we explained having the console later but not the necessary cords to connect it. [More]

Some trunks, like the 12 million recalled Lane cedar chests (above), can lock automatically upon closing and only be opened from the outside.

Death Of Siblings Is Tragic Reminder To Check Trunks & Chests For Potential Traps

As much as an old trunk or hope chest can look nice in your living room, it can also be a potential hazard for children if there is no way to open it from the inside. Yesterday, a young brother and sister in Massachusetts died at their home after becoming trapped inside a hope chest in their home. [More]

(luis cerezo)

Cute Puppy Chews Deodorant Can, Causes Explosion

We’re not quite sure how this happened, but it’s an important cautionary tale for all pet owners. A British couple says that their puppy’s chewing antics caused an explosion that did about $3,300 in damage to their home. Bad dog. [More]

(Ron Dauhpin)

Walmart: 32 Factories In Bangladesh Failed Initial Safety Inspections, Most Fixed Problems

In the aftermath of the factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 and a fire in November killed 112 people, retailers pledged to ramp up safety efforts with any factories that produce clothing for stores here in the U.S. As part of that increased attention to keeping the workers who make your clothing safe while they try to earn a living, Walmart says it identified safety problems at 32 Bangladesh factories it does business with. [More]


Carve Your Pumpkin, Not Your Hands

Halloween is supposed to be a scary holiday and all, but the reason for the terror should not be “I severed an artery while carving the whiskers on my cat o’lantern.” You can create beautiful hollowed-out gourds without harming yourself or your family, whether it’s with the tools you already have in your knife drawer or with a special pumpkin-carving kit. [More]

Comcast Tech Saves Two Lives In Same Week

Comcast Tech Saves Two Lives In Same Week

It’s no secret that most Consumerist stories about Comcast service techs are not positive, but there are still plenty of good, hardworking folks toiling away for Kabletown and its affiliated contractors (kontractors?). Take, for example, the California tech who recently stepped up to save the lives of two separate individuals in the span of a single week. [More]

(Ron Dauphin)

Walmart To Improve Safety Conditions At 2,800 Stores, Pay $190K Fine For Repeat Violations

Walmart says it will ramp up safety conditions at more than 2,800 of its stores scattered across the United States, after inspectors say they found “repeat” and serious” health and safety violations at one store under investigation. The mega chain has also agreed to pay a $190,000 fine under the terms of a deal with the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), because of “unacceptable” safety hazards facing employees a that store. [More]