McKeesport Joint Task Force members learn about consumer product safety
McKeesport's Joint Task Force members will share information about product safety with their neighbors after a presentation by the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the city's fire department.
Representatives of the city's neighborhood task forces and crime watch organizations, who gather monthly as the Joint Task Force, met Tuesday at Puzzlers Restaurant & Lounge to hear from product safety inspector Marc Bernstein and fire Deputy Chief Chuck Margliotti. They spoke about fire hazards and product safety.
“The Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products,” Bernstein said. His agency reaches out to the public through education, safety standards activities, regulation and enforcement.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission approached McKeesport Fire Department after a fatal blaze earlier this year. Bernstein wanted to know if his agency could help in the investigation or in reporting any products that may have contributed to the incident.
“Now that we have this partnership, (Bernstein) is educating us on how to get his organization involved anytime there is a fire caused by a defective product,” Margliotti said. “He will be a part of our effective investigation and research.”
Margliotti said the task force is fortunate to have Bernstein sharing information with members.
“He provides a very valuable service to each and every one of us, and sometimes we don't see that,” he said.
Bernstein shared websites — www.cpsc.gov, www.saferproducts.gov — that can provide the public with constant access to product safety and recall information. For the task force, fliers and posters can be provided for display in local neighborhoods, churches and community centers.
“You can post alerts around town,” Bernstein said. “We have access to that, and it's free to you. You just have to make a request for safety information.”
JoAnne Welch of the Haler Heights Crime Watch said the city's National Night Out celebration, which includes parties in Haler Heights and the Fawcett Plan, would be a nice opportunity to share product safety information with residents who already are out interacting with city police, firefighters and EMS.
“One of our strategic goals is public awareness,” Bernstein said. “And National Night Out is a great venue for that.”
Joint Task Force president Bill Richards of the Hall Park neighborhood said Bernstein's presentation was informative. He said product safety information is valuable to everyone, including senior citizens and young families.
“It's very useful to the public,” added vice president Dee Connor of the city's Upper Seventh Ward. “We can help get this information to the public. The people here are leaders in their community, and they can share what they've learned with their neighbors.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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