KID Releases New Report on Fire Hazards

Last week, KID released a new report on fire and burn hazards within children’s products: Playing with Fire Hazards: An analysis of children’s products recalled for fire hazards from June 2007 to July 2017. This report aims to raise awareness about dangerous children’s products and promote safety.

KID’s research revealed many things, but one particularly striking result is the increasing rates of recalled products. We found that an average of 12.1 products were recalled for fire and burn hazards each year between 2007 and 2017, which greatly exceeded the average of 5.47 products recalled each year between 1992 and 2007.

“The fact that significantly more products were recalled in the past 10 years compared to the preceding 15 years is concerning,” said Celia Cullom, KID’s summer intern and the report’s author. “It indicates that dangerous products are making their way into consumers’ homes at an ever-increasing rate.”

Some of the reports major findings include:

  • Between June 2007 and July 2017, 121 children’s products were recalled for fire and burn hazards.
  • These products resulted in a reported 1,000 incidents, 159 injuries, and 2 deaths.
  • Defects included: violation of federal flammability standards, battery failure, electrical failure, exposure to hot substance/surface, and ignitable.
  • Of the 121 products recalled for fire and burn hazards, 46 were articles of clothing that violated federal flammability standards and 44 were toys, most of which contained defective batteries.
  • In total, more than 40 million units were recalled, including 29 million units of the McDonald’s “Step-iT” Activity Wristbands.

It is unacceptable that companies are creating and selling dangerous products that put people at risk. The majority of recalls (40.5%) were for violations of the federal flammability standard, which has been active since 1953. Enforcement needs to be strengthened, it is appalling that a decades-old law continues to be broken, leading to dangerous clothing items on the shelves of stores nationwide.

A notable dangerous product discussed in the report is the hoverboard. In March, two girls tragically lost their lives to a fire started by a hoverboard. KID and other product safety organizations released a statement encouraging consumers to only use UL 2272 certified hoverboards.

The source of the hoverboard fire hazard and 44 other recalled products from the last ten years is battery failure. Moving forward, manufacturers must find safer alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. For now, consumers who own products containing lithium-ion batteries should remain vigilant. Monitor these products while they are charging and supervise children who are using them.

This report serves as an update to previous KID research on fire and burn hazards: Smoldering Hazards: Fire and Burn Hazards of Children’s Products and A Burning Threat: Fire and Burn Hazards of Children’s Product Recalls. KID will continue monitoring product safety issues so that families can have the most current information. Visit our research page to see more of our reports on a wide variety of product safety issues. Sign up here to get monthly email alerts from KID with product recall information.

This entry was posted in batteries, burns, fire safety, injury data, product safety, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to KID Releases New Report on Fire Hazards

  1. I am so grateful you share this information.
    I have a concern coming from the back side of an on-line business and wonder if you have any ideas.
    I own a small on-line business selling carefully selection items for kids ages 3 to 10. I inspect and hand pack everything. My wholesale supplier is located in the US.
    I was approached about Drop Shipping as an affordable way to grow my small biz. I declined…I hope you can see why I decided drop shipping is NOT for me as a responcible business owner concerned about child safety? I fear many parents will only look for the cheapest price by using the apps versus looking for safety standards.
    More & more products from overseas will be ordered through US looking sites set up by drop shippers who never even seen nor touched a real sample of the products they are selling. Drop shipping “business” owners can selelct form a variety of sellers in the orient with whom they have no relationship at all. No one REALLY KNOWS WHO MANUFACTURED ANY THING nor can it be traced down to the manufacturer To make matteres worse I question how some on-line biz can be tracked down. ( Except thorugh the portal if they use the same legit portal I use.)There will be ASSUMPTIONS on the part of the buyer who are focusing on free shipping and the best bargain.
    The current buy trend with on-line sellers looking to make a quick and easy profit are not looking out for safety. I investigated the back end of a massive amount of new on-line ships who have no business plan’ no ein, nor do they feel the need to even report any sales taxes. The iamges and descriptions are simply copy and pasted and published ona store site. What does that mean to the consumer? It will be realy difficult to track down a very unsafe product and recall un safe item that was deliverd by the suggested delivery e-packet to avoid 8 week delay in delivery. These drop ship items ae not in
    the US. It LOOKS like to me that orders will kind of by pass cutomes inspections.
    I find the basics of this growing trend ( hurt Toy r US) extremely alarming. I would love your feedback. Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargain buying frenzie are approraching very rapidly… it smells like kids in danger to me.
    I don’t mean this as a self-promotion for my biz. I am old RN and long time granny blogger concerned with childhood safety. I want to alert the public.

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