If You See Something, Say Something: Even With Promo Products
It’s a phrase seen in airports, train stations and other public transport areas, as well as in neighborhoods, parks, public buildings and schools. Law enforcement and security teams urge people to pay attention, help out and report suspicious activity. If You See Something, Say Something—It’s a phrase that’s intended to alert and protect.
Customer reviews serve a similar purpose, as consumers increasingly are prone to review products and services they purchase and, for many, these reviews have an impact on purchasing decisions. So, overall, it’s probably a given that it’s a good idea to share what you know and save other folks from the risk of unsafe activity.
But, how about consumer products that you know are unsafe? How do you “say something” and to whom? What about when you’re shopping, and you want to find out the risk factors of a product before buying it? Where can you get (much less give) that information?
The good news is that there is a resource, and part of my mission today is to help make sure that people know about it. Mandated as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, www.saferproducts.gov was created as a publicly available database that allows anyone to search consumer products and determine risk factors associated therewith.
The reporting of unsafe products through the Safer Products initiative can be done by anyone. Consumers, child-service providers, health-care professionals, government officials and public-safety entities can submit incidents of harm involving consumer products, thereby creating a database of valuable information for anyone who cares enough to look.
After a report is made, manufacturers (which, in our industry, include importers of record) and private labelers identified receive a copy of the report. Those suppliers then have the opportunity to comment on them. Completed reports and manufacturer comments are published online in the database at www.saferproducts.gov.
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.