Product Liability: Potentially Hazardous Products at Home

It’s hard to imagine how much consumer products are purchased in the United States every day. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending in America is at billions of dollars each year. For the first quarter of 2015, personal consumption expenditures were at 12,055.5 billion. Spending increased to 12,207.8 billion by the second quarter of the year.

A good majority of consumer spending go to durable goods. Furnishings and household equipment are among the major type of products bought by Americans annually. For the second quarter of 2015, expenditures for these products were at 297 billion dollars. And as with any other product, the consumers who had gone out to purchase these goods expect that they have bought items that are safe to use. This trust is often proven to be misplaced. As evidenced by the updates on the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC, a lot of products are regularly found to be defective or potentially dangerous.

For furnishings and other products meant for the home, any negligence in design or production can cause a lot of harm. Many see their homes as a safe harbor; a place where they are far from any dangerous accidents. Unfortunately, with defective furnishings or household equipment, many people are left vulnerable to potentially hazardous situations right in the very place they consider their comfort zone. Take, for example, poorly designed window coverings. As found by the CPSC, children between 7 months to 10 years are at risk of dying by strangulation because of defective window covering cords every month. In fact, the commission has made over five million recalls for window coverings due to such concerns.

Dangers caused by defective products can result in minor to life-altering injuries. The responsibility of preventing such incidents remains in the hands of product manufacturers. The implicit trust handed to them by consumers should be respected through imposing stricter testing policies and regulations.

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