How can I tell if a product is safe?
There are a number of ways that people try to determine whether a product is safe:
- Reading product reviews on blogs, manufacturer, and merchant websites
- Searching to see if any recalls have been issued
- Talking with friends, family, and acquaintances to understand their experiences with the product
Even after you buy a product, it is important to carefully read the warnings and safety precautions provided, to ensure you understand any potential hazards. You should also use products in accordance with the instructions.
If you suspect you may have an unsafe product, should inspect it before, during, and after use. Look for any wear and tear, loose parts, or operation that is inconsistent with the description provided by the manufacturer. You can also listen for unexpected rattling, buzzing, clicking, or other audible signals that the product may be working incorrectly. For complex or potentially dangerous products, have an authorized dealer or service provider inspect it for you.
Finally, if you are concerned about a product’s safety, you can contact the manufacturer to see if they have any additional information. Always be sure to keep operating manuals or information sheets, which will contain manufacturer’s warnings about the product, for future reference.
What should I do if I’m hurt by an unsafe product?
First, seek medical attention if necessary. Delaying care could result in unnecessary pain or complications from the injury.
Once any medical needs are taken care of, it is a good idea to sit down and write as much information as you can about what happened. Note the time, place, and nature of the injury, as well as the product name, model, serial number, manufacturer name, and any other identifying information available. Be sure to write down how you were using the product when you were injured, taking care to detail any malfunctions or defects you might have noticed while using the product. It is best to make these notes as soon as possible after you receive medical attention, to make sure the event is still fresh in your mind.
If you believe the injury was caused by a malfunction or defect of the device, you may want to report it to the appropriate federal agency. Depending on the nature of the defect or malfunction, you may also want to consider speaking with a product liability lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Visit the Legal section of our site to learn more about what products have been the subjects of lawsuits due to safety concerns.