Don’t sacrifice safety to save a few bucks
Inexpensive items at a thrift store, consignment shop, or garage sale could save you some dough, but could come at a high cost of safety for yourself and your family, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
The commission’s product-safety laws and regulations don’t just apply to manufacturers: They also apply to anyone who sells or distributes consumer products. That includes thrift and consignment stores, charity shops, and individuals or groups holding garage and yard sales or flea markets. And that’s why CPSC’s working to get the word out about things secondhand sellers shouldn’t sell, and what buyers should beware of, including:
- Mattresses—Old, used, or unregulated mattresses run the major risk of not being up to current anti-flammability or sanitizing standards.
- Bean-bag chairs—These fun pieces of furniture pose suffocation and choking hazards, especially those with zippers, flimsy seams, and leaking stuffing or pellets.
- Cribs and playpens—Unlike older or used models, new cribs and playpens must comply with the latest structural and strength standards to prevent suffocation, strangulation, and choking.
If you’re unsure whether to buy something, or even to sell or donate something, don’t take a chance—as CPSC says, “When in doubt, throw it out!” Used or older products have caused injuries and deaths, and many have been the subject of safety recalls for tragic reasons. Don’t sacrifice safety to make or save a few bucks: Visit www.cpsc.gov and check out the Reseller’s Guide for more information.
Don’t forget: In California, new and used mattresses—as well as many other everyday household items and furnishings—must meet stringent safety standards, and outdated mattresses can easily be recycled. Find out more about household-goods safety and services from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Household Goods and Services at https://bhgs.dca.ca.gov, and check a retailer, manufacturer, or sanitizer license at https://search.dca.ca.gov.
Related Reading: #TBT with DCA: Bureau of Household Goods and Services