Product Safety in the Home

Background

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over more than 10,000 types of consumer products. Mandatory standards govern only a small number of products. CPSC regulations require companies to promptly report to the commission any safety problems associated with their products. However, the commission has inadequate resources to enforce its requirements. The agency maintains a public database that allows people to submit safety concerns and search for product safety information.

PRODUCT SAFETY IN THE HOME: Policy

PRODUCT SAFETY IN THE HOME: Policy

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) funding

Congress should fund the CPSC at appropriate levels.

The CPSC should address product safety problems that pose a particular risk to older adults, such as those linked to fires and falls. This includes dedicating more resources to older adult safety issues, as well as collecting accurate and up-to-date data on safety concerns.

The CPSC should improve and market its database (saferproducts.gov), so it receives and publishes more complaints. It should publish periodic reports about persistent hazards to older adults.

The CPSC should use all of the tools at its disposal to protect consumers, including the imposition of civil penalties.

Product safety for older adults

The CPSC should focus attention on product safety problems that pose a particular risk to older adults, such as those linked to fires and falls.