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Web Site Tells Whether Products Have Been Recalled

A new Web site helps parents, homeowners – and businesses – check the products they own against a list of recalled items, enabling owners to determine which products are still safe to use.  The site also helps businesses that resell items and sponsors of yard sales avoid unwittingly breaking the law by selling recalled items. And it helps individuals avoid unwittingly giving away banned items to recipients who could be harmed.

WeMakeItSafer provides product and safety information on hundreds of household items that have caused injuries, and sometimes death, to users.

The Web application matches products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to items that product owners have listed on their personal pages. Under the "Items I Own" section, owners can submit an inventory of household items, from recently purchased ones to those acquired a decade ago.

“It is a place for you to keep track of your belongings and manage product-related tasks, but with the added benefit of a sophisticated system dedicated to identifying safety problems,” says Jennifer Toney, company co-founder and chief executive.

Government officials and safety experts urge consumers to monitor recall reports, however the process can be time-consuming, the company says.

The Items I Own feature checks products dating back 10 years and also continues daily monitoring to keep consumers up-to-date on possible future dangers. Once the items are reviewed, their recall status appears on the users “My Items” page.
If a problem is suspected, users can click on the item to review potentially relevant recalls. If the item was recalled, Items I Own will tell how to go about fixing it or getting a replacement.

Although the primary purpose of the Items I Own feature is monitoring for safety recalls, the tool includes several other features that can help make consumers’ lives easier.

Users have always been able to track insurance information, along with when, and to whom, an item is given away. However, by using a new “Post This Item” feature, says Toney, users can post directly to social-network sites images of the items they no longer want.

For example, many parents are cleaning out closets and drawers to make room for recently purchased back-to-school items. Users of the Post This Item feature can assure friends and family that the items they are receiving have been checked against the recall list, says the company president.

Recently, “a mom posted on our neighborhood chat board that she had a particular stroller to give to whoever wanted it,” Toney said. “Would-be takers were leery, though, because this particular brand had had several recalls over the past year.”

For more information, visit the Web site at

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