Alarm system alert & new toy safety rules

February 15, 2008 3:39:03 PM PST
Toys R Us and Wal-Mart have announced new mandatory safety checks and guidelines for its manufacturers. The retailers are requiring independent third-party testing of each batch of toys that's imported into the U.S.

Toys R Us said its new stricter guidelines apply to all manufacturers whose products are shipped to the company on or after March 1st. Wal-Mart said it told its suppliers last month that any products sold this year would have to meet the enhanced safety standards.

Wal-Mart also said toys made by its suppliers cannot have more than zero-point-one-percent phthalates content. While Toys R Us said that by the end of 2008, all infant products sold at its namesake and Babies R Us stores are prohibited from containing any phthalates, those are chemicals that have been linked to possible reproductive problems and birth defects.

Both retailers are also calling for a significant reduction in lead content in paint. The announcements from the retailers pre-empts Monday's expected statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about new stricter toy safety guidelines to be issued by the government.

If you have a home alarm system, you need to contact your alarm company now to see if your service uses an analog cellular transmitter. Starting Monday (Feb. 18th), the government is allowing cellular service providers to shut down their analog networks. That means, if you don't upgrade to a digital cellular transmitter, your alarm system will stop working. You may be woken up in the middle of the night as the shut down happens because alarms systems will beep when they fail to detect the presence of a network.

For more information about the analog shut down:
Security Industry Association