Civil penalties continue to serve as a reminder that noncompliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act can be costly. A major retailer agreed to pay a $3.8 million penalty for failure to implement an internal compliance program for the distribution and sale of recalled products. The retailer sold about 600 recalled products over a five-year period, a pattern of behavior that continued even after informing the CPSC that measures were in place to reduce this risk.

Also making headlines is a viral video of a dresser falling onto a toddler, who is then rescued by his twin brother. This video serves as a reminder of the ongoing CPSC focus on dresser tipping risks as well as the challenge of getting consumers to implement recommended safety precautions for identified risks.

There was also an expected uptick in CPSC recalls during the holiday season. Popular kitchen gadgets, namely espresso makers and food processors, have caused dozens of reported injuries recently. Cooking outdoors also suffered some setbacks as gas smokers and charcoal grills pose serious fire hazards. And some consumers experienced a season that was too bright as lamps, candles and holiday décor lighting created a range of hazards, from electric shock to fires.

Two recalls are noteworthy given recent trends. First, after experiencing recalls last holiday season, hoverboards emerged again this year as lithium ion batteries continue to malfunction. Second, the CPSC updated last month’s recall for dehumidifiers and the news is unwelcomed: consumers reported over 2,000 incidents of overheating, 450 fires and more than $19 million in property damage – up from last month’s $4.8 million.

Given this month’s recalls with more sure to follow, consumers should check the CPSC or the manufacturer’s website to ensure the gifts they received have not been recalled.

Total Recalls: 21

Hazards: Fire (7); Laceration (3); Injury (3); Fall (3); Mold (1); Burn (1); Entrapment (1); Electrical Shock (1); Chemical (1); Choking (1)

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