Recall-proof your home

Published On: Nov 15 2012 09:52:34 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 16 2012 06:45:00 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

We often tell you about recalls that could put your family at risk, but what happens if you miss a report about a product you own?  Consumer Reports suggested several ways to get out in front of this and "recall-proof" your home.

According to Consumer Reports, the first thing you need to do is fill out registration cards that come with the product you purchased. This is a way to ensure that you will be among the first notified if something goes wrong with the product.

Susan Pniewski is a consumer that told us she does this religiously.

"I fill that out all of the time and the reason is they won't honor any kind of warranty if you don't fill that out.  Most of the time you can go online, but if there's a card with the item, I fill it out so I wont be stuck," she said.

Amanda Lamb told us just the opposite.

"I've actually never done that," Lamb said. "I don't see that there's any benefit from it," said Lamb.

There's a huge benefit if it comes time for a recall according to Consumer Reports. That's why, at the very least, you should register your product online if you don't send in the registration card. Another way to find out about products with problems, check out shopsmartmag.org

They have a special recall section and they release a new list of recalls every Wednesday. You can also sign up at consumerreports.org to get a free safety alert news letter about faulty products and other things that could put your family at risk.

To see recalls in real time, check www.recalls.gov. On this site, you can even sign up to get recalls tailored to your specific needs. For example, only recalls for food products.

In addition, check out products before you buy them by going to sites like www.saferproducts.gov. There you can browse by category, manufacturer or product name. Pniewski said this is something else she does with almost every big purchase.

"You can't believe the hype or commercials about products. If you read reviews at popular sites, those are real people with real problems and I want to know how the stuff really works, not just what the manufacturer says it's supposed to do," Pniewski said.

If you own a recalled product, Consumer Reports said stop using it! Check the recall notice for instructions on how to get the product repaired or where to return it for a refund or replacement.