(NC)—Now that summer is here, garage sales and flea markets abound. But as you search for that perfect treasure, be sure to keep safety in mind. Second-hand items, especially electronics, building supplies, appliances and helmets, may carry certain risks if they are damaged or used. If you are planning on holding a yard sale, check Health Canada's website for recent changes that state everyone holding a garage or yard sale is legally responsible for ensuring that products being sold are safe and meet current regulatory requirements. CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization, offers these safety tips for yard sale shoppers:
• Avoid electrical or gas products if a label from a recognized certification organization such as CSA Group is missing. Look closely at the mark to ensure it matches the design and colour of certification marks from the same organization on other similar products.
• Check wiring and extension cords for wear and damage. In particular, look for worn insulation and splices on the cord and loose or exposed parts on the plug.
• Avoid purchasing used bicycle, hockey or construction helmets as you don't know their history or what damage may be hidden from plain view.
Counterfeit or illegal goods
• Counterfeiters often use flea markets to peddle fake goods. Packaging on counterfeits is often poorly designed or has only partial illustrations. Misspellings and unclear printing on products and labels may be another indicator of a fake product.
• Brand-name companies want you to know whose product you're buying, so look for a recognized name. Also look for return addresses or company contact information on packages.
• Check the "look and feel" of goods. Fake products often seem light and flimsy.
More safety tips are available online at www.csasafetytips.com.
Federal government guidelines regarding second hand products and garage sales can be found at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/house-domes/used-usages .
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