National Home Safety Month, which falls in June, is meant to remind us to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Accidents in the home take hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts 2017 reported that, during 2015, 146,571 unintentional deaths occurred in the U.S.
While staying safe at home might sound easy, in reality it covers an enormous amount of ground. Home safety can range from preventing break-ins to detecting carbon monoxide to preparing for natural disasters. However, generally five problem areas produce the greatest number of mishaps on home ground:
- Poisoning has rocketed to the No. 1 spot for unintentional adult deaths, mostly because of prescription drug overdoses. But household cleaners, pesticides, and similar products continue to pose a tremendous danger to children.
- Falls. Slippery areas such as the bathroom and stairs can create many deadly situations. Falls are a rapidly-growing cause of death for those 65 and over.
- Choking and suffocation. Keep anything small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube away from the very young. Cords from window blinds and similar items can also prevent a hanging hazard for children.
- Fires and burns. Cooking areas and space heaters create the greatest number of hazards, as do open flames from things such as candles.
- Don’t leave the youngest members of your family alone in bathtubs, near open toilets, or in swimming pools.
But there’s one more category that can cause harm, and it’s a rapidly-expanding one: consumer products used in the home.
The Dangers of Our Household Items
Consumer product incidents surged to their greatest level in twenty years during 2017’s first quarter, rising 397 percent from the previous quarter, to 16,649 injurious events. Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS’s Q1 2017 Recall Index related that the dangers from household products went up even though the number of recalled products went down. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) data also showed that Q1 2017 injuries involving consumer products rose 141 percent over the previous quarter.
During 2017’s first quarter, 65 recalls occurred for consumer items. That’s about a 5 percent increase over the previous quarter. Of all the recalled objects, however, 77.8 percent of them fell into only four categories:
- Nursery and child supplies
- Home furnishings and fixtures
- General housewares.
Items were recalled because they caused falls, choking (both of these injuries are in the top five), or bleeding (from lacerations).
The reasons why injuries from household items should have increased so dramatically, and recalls should have gone up 5 percent, are not clear. In fact, both pharmaceutical and medical device recall numbers saw slight drops. However, the Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations for Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS, Michael Good, did note that, “The phrase ‘home sweet home’ may be challenged as a result of these findings.”
The Stericycle Recall Index gathers and analyzes data quarterly from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration.
How Can “The Injury Lawyer” Help You?
Steven Heisler has been practicing law in Maryland since 1988. In 1996, however, he decided to focus exclusively on personal injury law. Why? Steve has a heart for helping people. He determined that his education and experience could best be put to use advocating for the rights of folks who were harmed through the negligent actions of others.
If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury due to a defective product, Baltimore personal injury attorney Steve Heisler stands ready to help you. Keep in mind, however, that there is a statute of limitations – or a time limit – for filing personal injury claims. If you have incurred a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should not delay. Contact the Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler of Baltimore, Maryland, today for a free initial consultation by calling 1-410-625-4878 or by using our online contact form.