There’s a new way to search for recalls online or on a smart phone or device. Early this week, CPSC released their new recall app. The app makes the search for recalled products easier and more accessible. This is a very welcome development since their current online search engine leaves something to be desired in terms of accurate results.
Note: The app is not available in app stores but must be downloaded through the CPSC website.
How to Use:
The app has three modes – shown as three icons on the bottom of the page.
The home page allows consumers to scroll through recent recalls. Only the most recent recall is immediately visible on a portable device but swiping left will allow the user to see other recent recalls. For more information click the black arrow on the right-hand side to initiate a drop-down basic report of the product or click the orange “view details” button on the left-hand side to navigate away from the app to the CPSC website to see the full details of the recall.
The world icon on the bottom right will direct the user away from the app to the CPSC home page on another browser window. Here the user will see recent news articles and reports from the CPSC as well as have options to learn about product safety.
And as on most apps, the magnifying glass icon provides an option to search the CPSC recall database. The user can complete filter terms to narrow the search such as a product name, model or date range – or a general field. Click ‘apply’ to initiate the search. The app will generate a list of recalled items the user can view by scrolling.
KID’s first reactions to the new app
Overall, the app is a huge step forward in making it easy to find recalls quickly. The current search engine at cpsc.gov can return a confusing number of recalls or other pages that don’t seem to fit with the search term applied.
The app presents all recalls in chronological order giving the user the most recent information first. This is a positive change from the internet browser which presents recalls in a more random fashion.
But it isn’t clear yet if the app search will return all products recalled – which might limit its usefulness if you are out at a garage sale and want to confirm the product has not been recalled – even many years ago. The app may not detect a recall from a keyword search with regularity, and this may give the user false assurance.
However, we recommend consumers download the app to have up-to-date information on recent recalls.
It’s a good sign that the CPSC is working to create more efficient and user-friendly resources to keep our families safe. “At CPSC we are looking for ways to improve how consumers can access information about recalls,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “I encourage consumers to download CPSC’s Recall App today and let us know how we can make it better.”
Provide feedback about the app to the CPSC through their website, or Tweet your comments, tagging @USCPSC and @KidsInDanger.