Hundreds of products are recalled every year, and it isn't unusual for less than 5 percent to be returned or repaired following an official announcement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. That means even though a product that might have caused deaths or started fires, consumers either ignored the warning or weren't aware of it.
"We know most recalled products, no matter how dangerous, remain in homes," said Nancy Cowles, executive director for the safety advocacy group Kids in Danger.
Consumers have gotten somewhat tone-deaf to recall announcements, and it is fairly common to decide that what happened to someone else won't happen in your home. And yard sales spread recalled products to consumers who were unaware there was a problem in the first place.
Spread the Word
"We often say newer is better, because older products can pose safety risks that are forgotten and never addressed," commission spokesman Scott Wolfson told DailyFinance. "Before you set up a yard sale or an online auction, take a few moments and go on SaferProducts.gov to see if your products were recalled."
Government officials and safety advocates say they hope consumers pay more attention to recalls and don't pass along dangerous products by selling them or giving them away.
"When we talk to consumers in the secondhand marketplace about a dangerous product they pulled out of the attic to sell," Wolfson said, "they often say: 'I didn't know.' We want consumers to know about recalls and to know that the safety standards for children's products are much stronger today."
Here are seven recalled products that are believed to be in millions of homes across the country. Is yours one of them?