SaferProducts.gov, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s consumer database that allows people to share and access safety information about the products they own and consider buying, is celebrating its first year anniversary.
Consumer organizations – the Consumer Federation of America, Kids In Danger, and Consumers Union – conducted an analysis of the reports published in the database through January 2012.
The consumer groups supported the creation of the database and think it’s an important tool to educate consumers about product safety hazards and improve the commission’s ability to identify and act on problems in the marketplace.
In the analysis of the first 10 months of reports, it’s clear that the database is working as intended, giving consumers a place to report and review reports, the groups said in a statement. Of the more than 6,000 reports, consumers submitted almost all.
The reports products ranged from kitchen appliances to cribs to shoes to lighting products. The largest group of reports is about kitchen products, 37 percent, especially appliances, 33 percent. Reports about children’s products, including toys and nursery items, made up15 percent of the complaints.
“Our analysis of the database shows that consumers and the CPSC now have access to useful information about many types of consumer products – information that was not available to the public before,” Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety and senior counsel at Consumer Federation of America, said in a statement. “Consumers are no longer completely left in the dark about product safety and have access to lifesaving information.”
Concerns had been raised about the lack of information in the reports, but the additional information in most reports makes it possible to accurately identify the product involved.