Have you gone to check out SaferProducts.gov? That’s the new CPSCsite dedicated to the publicly available consumer safety incident database.

Consumers and others can report problems with products, incidents and injuries related to consumer products. CPSC has always had an online form for reporting, but now, most reports will become part of the public database.

Remember that this is a site to report safety issues, not product reliability or quality, except as they affect safety. So if the infant seat doesn’t swing like it shows on the package, that is a quality issue, perhaps to be reported to customer service or an online product rating site. But if the motor that is supposed run the swing gets so hot it melts its casing and starts a fire, that is a safety issue and should be reported here, to CPSC.

Gather and input as much information about the product as possible – including identifying information such as model name or number, date of manufacture, etc. The more complete the report, the more likely it is to be posted and to provide CPSC with the information they need to assess the risk and take action if needed. CPSC has helpful pop-ups on the form that will help you find the needed information.

You need to provide your name and contact information for your incident to go into the database, but that information will not be posted and will only be released to the manufacturer with your permission. Giving the manufacturer your contact information, either through the CPSC form or by reporting directly to the manufacturer will allow them to fully investigate your incident and determine if action is needed. If you choose to file a report anonymously, CPSC will still get the incident information, but it will not go into the public database.

Manufacturers have 10 days after they are notified of a report by CPSC to review it for material inaccuracy. The best way to have the full 10 days is to register now with CPSC. The report will then be sent automatically.

Then, the report, if it has all the necessary information will be posted online. Right now, you can see the format here which CPSC has populated now with recall notices. Once the database has injury and incident reports, those will show up here too.

If you have problems reporting incidents or finding the data you need, let CPSC know. They already have great tools on the site to help both consumers and businesses navigate the system. We’d also love to hear of your experiences with the new database in the comments below.