When Tropical Storm Andrea roared up the East Coast recently dropping buckets of rain, it underscored the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast that 2013 will have an extremely active hurricane season with 13 to 20 named storms. And since we still have letters B through Z to go, there's no better time to buy a new generator or make sure the one you have now is working properly.
Q: My new dryer recommends that lint be removed from inside the dryer cabinet every two years by a qualified servicer. I never had to do this with my 20-year-old dryer. Is it really necessary? —Mary Ann Mack, Phoenixville, PA
A 47-year-old New Jersey woman was killed on Wednesday by a fire that investigators are blaming on a faulty dishwasher, according to NorthJersey.com. The tragedy is a reminder of the potential dangers that can result from defective appliances.
What dangers lurk in your backyard? Especially for young children, the risks range from the obvious (mowers and tractors) to the unexpected (poisonous plants). Here are the major danger zones—and how to minimize your child's risk this summer:
With the memory of Sandy still fresh in many people's minds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an active or extremely active hurricane season for 2013. We could see 13 to 20 named storms, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. Here are six ways to weather the season.
Newborns who sleep in the same bed as their parents are five times more likely to die suddenly than those who sleep in a separate crib, according to a new study published in a British medical journal. The study, which looked at 1,472 cases of sudden infant death syndrome in the United Kingdom, reinforces a recommendation that the American Academy of Pediatrics has made for the past 20 years that infants are safest sleeping in their own bed.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced the recall of two models of Optimus portable electric space heaters, including one model that Consumer Reports judged a Don't Buy: Safety Risk last year and asked the safety agency to recall.
For as long as we've been testing laundry detergent pods—those convenient, single-use packets—only Tide Pods have cleaned well enough to make our winner's list. But there's a new top pod in our tests of laundry detergents, and it costs about 30 percent less than Tide Pods. The only catch is you'll need a Costco membership to find it. And if you have kids at home, special safety precautions are a must.
With the unofficial start of summer just a few weeks away, now's the time to do a thorough safety check around the yard to prevent the slips, trips, falls, burns, and other accidents that each year send tens of thousands of people to the emergency room. A recent outdoor safety survey of nearly 1,300 adults by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed the top danger spots.
Six months ago today—on October 29, 2012—Sandy slammed into the mid-Atlantic region. A new Consumer Reports survey documents the deep disruption and devastation Sandy wrought, along with highlighting the steps that helped victims cope in its aftermath.
With their low prices and ease of use, aerosol fire sprays are a tempting purchase. But the sprays are no substitute for a fire extinguisher. In fact, in Consumer Reports' tests the sprays sometimes made a grease fire flare up, which could make it spread. Performance problems caused us to judge two aerosol fire sprays—the First Alert AF400 Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray and Shield Fire Protection Kitchen Guard—Don't Buy: Performance Problem. Now we've found a third brand being advertised called Knockout 360 that's also an aerosol fire spray.
Super strong rare-earth magnet sets are being recalled by several retailers according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The retailers, which include giants such as Barnes & Nobel and Toys R Us, have been marketing the magnetic kits as decorative and novelty items for adult owners. However, the high-powered magnets may cause serious injury if swallowed by children who mistake the items for colorful candy.
A mowing accident in Florida in which a two-year-old lost both her feet tragically underscores the dangers posed by powerful lawn equipment. "The energy transferred by a typical lawn mower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 Magnum pistol," says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, whose doctors see many such injuries. "In addition, a lawn mower can eject a piece of metal or wood up to 100 miles per hour."
There's a reason that safety experts recommend keeping your child in an age-appropriate child restraint as long as possible before graduating to the next type. Moving the youngster to a less restrictive car seat too soon can be a step backward in terms of safety. This is especially true with booster seats that can be used with the car's three-point seat belt rather than a harness. In Consumer Reports recent tests of booster seats, we found that 80 percent of manufacturers suggest a weight limit typical of a child well under three, which is too young for a booster seat.
Each year more than 5,200 children suffer falls from windows and at least one in four is injured badly enough to be hospitalized. So it's no accident that National Window Safety Week occurs in early Spring when the weather is mild enough to open the windows again. Safety experts take advantage of this week to remind parents and caregivers about the dangers of window falls. And there's evidence in at least one state that it's working. The Oregon Trauma Registry reports it is seeing a decrease in the number of falls.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: