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Posts Tagged ‘consumer protection’

(Please note:  This video may not run smoothly for some reason; you may have to restart it several times where it leaves off in order to view the whole thing, but make sure you watch it all, including the testing processes.)

Glass tables can be wonderful additions to many rooms in the house, and are particularly popular as coffee tables, end tables, and dining tables. They are stylish, help small rooms look larger, and can help reflect light that will help brighten any space.

But they do have one major downside, that people should be aware of, and that is that they can also provide a significant hazard for everyone in the house, but particularly for children and the elderly. Sharp edges can cause cuts and bruises when people bump into them, and particularly for the elderly, whose vision is not what it was when they are younger, they can just be more difficult to see, and thus harder to avoid bumping into. As we age, our skin gets thinner, so elderly skin is more likely to tear easily on a squared edge, too, than on one that is more rounded. Much is already made of these particular issues in aging-in-place and universal design circles.

However – and even more importantly – glass tables of all sizes and designs can also shatter, especially if someone falls on them, and severe injuries and even death may result, as the above video shows.

Even young, able-bodied adults are not immune from this risk, as both this video describes and the one blow shows graphically.

Although this second video starts out humorously, and looking like a commercial or a joke, the injuries the woman shown has likely sustained could well threaten her life, as well as disfigure her forever. The chances that the glass may penetrate her abdomen or chest, or sever a carotid artery or femoral artery (among other possibilities) are high, any of which injuries could cause her to bleed to death in a matter of minutes. She may well have also sustained a severe neck and/or back injury from this fall, fractures, and could need reconstructive plastic surgery to repair her face. This sort of trip and fall is not at all an unlikely occurrence in many homes, either, particularly as anyone who has ever had children or pets will attest.

Children are also particularly susceptible to such injuries, when they run around and jump on the furniture. Consumer Reports and the Providence Journal reported on one such tragic case of an 11 year old dying from a severe puncture wound to her leg that caused her to bleed to death.

According to Consumer Reports, “Each year an estimated 20,000 people, most of them children, are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained from glass furniture. In an average year, three children die”.

Pets can also cause the same kind of damage to glass furniture, and sustain the same kinds of injuries, especially if they are large and/or rowdy.

So, does this mean you should get rid of all glass tables, or never use them?

No, it just means you have to do a little homework when first buying them, and be sure that the glass is tempered/safety glass, not the more typical annealed glass used in most furniture.

Tempered glass (also known as safety glass), which is what your car windows, shower doors, and storm doors are made of, shatters into many small pebble-like pieces when it breaks, none of which are likely to cause life-threatening injuries, most of which have very few sharp edges. Annealed glass, however (which is what most home windows are made of, and almost all glass furniture parts), breaks into slabs and slices of glass of varying sizes, some quite large, with edges that are as sharp as knives, and which will quickly and easily penetrate all soft tissue, and even bone, if the force applied is sufficient. The first video above shows the difference graphically in a testing situation.

Because there are no safety standards or codes that apply to the type of glass used in tables yet (although they are now under development), it’s up to you the consumer (or your designer) to ensure that safety glass is used or specified, in order to ensure maximum safety, especially in areas of the home that have a lot of traffic, although it’s best to ensure the use of safety glass wherever glass is used in furniture in the home.

Some tables are made entirely of glass, and it may not be possible to get them in tempered glass, or they may be made in a way that makes replacing the glass portions impractical or impossible, so you will then have to decide what’s most important to you, taking into consideration where the piece will live, who will use it, the amount of traffic that will pass near it, etc.

Some manufacturers already use tempered glass as a matter of course, but far from all, so you will have to ask before you buy. If it’s just a glass top or insert, and you cannot custom order the piece with tempered glass (or you already have the piece), you can always have a replacement made of tempered glass yourself by a local glass shop. You could also have a replacement top fabricated from another material, including wood or stone, if that works with the piece and your space, and the look appeals to you, but then you will lose the visual appeal and other qualities of the glass, if that’s what you really want.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that everyone in your home and to whom you entrust the care of your children 0r elderly relatives, including babysitters and other caretakers, is trained in basic first aid, just on general principles. I don’t know enough about the case in Rhode Island, but depending upon the location of the puncture wound that bled uncontrollably as reported, it’s very possible that prompt first aid including direct pressure on the wound, arterial pressure, or even a tourniquet if necessary and possible based on the location of the wound, may have saved her life.

So, don’t let this post scare you out of using glass tables, because they are wonderful in the right settings, and totally appropriate. Just take reasonable precautions to ensure safety when selecting them – and enjoy your furniture for years to come.

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Sick and tired of the state of Florida meddling in your design practice? Learn how to support the growing movement to deregulate the interior design profession, and why it should be deregulated.
Here’s a link to the full article, since this has gotten cut off and I still don’t know how to fix it.

Interior Design Protection Council

TAKE ACTION!
Florida deregulation will restore your right to practice!

Florida Statute 481 is anti-competitive and anti-consumer

Members of the Florida design community:

The Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF), the ASID-supported and funded coalition responsible for the perpetuation of Florida’s monopoly practice law, is mobilizing their licensed designers in a mass letter writing campaign in an attempt to derail the deregulation movement and save their ruthlessly enforced protectionist interior design law.

The talking points email that IDAF sent to their members to “remind legislators” is filled with misleading and blatantly false information in what appears on the surface to be an intentional effort to mislead government officials.

Click here to read IDAF talking points, 02.10.09

We cannot allow your Florida legislators to be hoodwinked into believing that (1) IDAF’s information is true, or (2) that it reflects the will of the design community. IDPC has written a STRONG REBUTTAL, which factually, statistically and empirical disproves ALL of IDAF’s claims.

Click here for IDPC Rebuttal to IDAF Talking Points.

The rest is up to you…

  • Do you want to continue to let this cartel restrict you from performing services that you would be perfectly able to provide in 47 other states?
  • Do you want to continue to let this cartel take away your First Amendment Right to accurately describe yourself and what you do?

Their lobbyist, Ron Books, is already working behind the scenes and allegedly has $400,000 at his disposal to distribute to legislators as he sees fit.

But a strong grassroots movement can trump the pocket-lining! And that’s where you come in…..

TAKE ACTION NOW!


You must act
now to let your Legislators and the Governor know that, especially in this difficult economic climate, the state government should continue no laws which make it more difficult for its citizens to compete in the free and open market unless there is clear and compelling evidence — which is clearly lacking here.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED:

Fax, call, and email the following Legislators (click on committee or legislator link below for contact information):

Faxes are prefered over emails. Please follow up with a phone call to make sure they received your letter and see if you can answer any questions. If you can’t send a fax or email to every member of each committee, at least send one to the Chair of each committee.

It’s very important that at least one person in each committee gets a letter from you! Note: one option is to select 2 or 3 committees to send to each day. Another option is to fax a letter to the Chair, and send one email addressed to the rest of the committee members.

Fax, call and email the Governor

Rally all students you know to write as well. Licensing HURTS not helps them. (See details in Rebuttal)

Ask your clients, vendors, friends, family, and other consumers, to call or write to their legislators, asking them to deregulate the interior design law as it restricts their right to hire whom they choose, serves no ligitimate public good, and is bad for the Florida economy.

Designers in other states — If you currently do any kind of design or decorating work in Florida, or if you plan to in the future, then you also need to contact the government officials above to protect your rights.

Support our efforts to protect Florida interior designers’ rights and livelihoods.

Click here to become a member of IDPC.

CONSUMER PROTECTION? Absolutely NOT!

Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.

In fact, 12 government agencies have looked into this issue and concluded that interior design licensing does nothing to protect the public beyond the processes already in place.

Click here for a list and access to all 12 government reports, including the 1999 Florida report recommending that the profession of interior design be deregulated.

DID YOU KNOW THAT….


Interior design practice laws affect more than just interior designers? In Florida, approximately 22 professions have been the subject of disciplinary actions of Statute 481.

If you work in any of the following professions, beware — you could be the next victim!

*interior designer *interior decorator *office furniture dealer *residential furniture dealer

*restaurant equipment dealer *flooring company *wall covering supplier *fabric vendor

*builder *real estate stager *real estate developer *realty company *remodeler

*accessories retailer *antiques dealer *engineer *drafting services *lighting company

*florist *kitchen design *upholstery workroom *carpet retail *art dealer *paint store

Even if you are an extremely successful or even a “celebrity” designer, you will not be sheltered from this law. In Florida, even internationally known designers like Kelly Wearsler, Hirsch Bedner Assoc., Juan Montayo, Clive Christian, and Phillip Sides were victims of ruthless disciplinary actions.

Click here to see the list of hundreds of Florida disciplinary actions.

THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO RID FLORIDA

OF THIS UNNECESSARY AND ANTI-COMPETITIVE LAW!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at legislation@IDPCinfo.org

Patti Morrow

Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

Join Our Mailing List!

Forward to a friend!

Interior Design Protection Council | 91 Reserve Place | Concord | NH | 03301

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Here’s a link to the archived version of this post, since it’s gotten cut off here, and I don’t know how to fix it.

Please visit the NoDesignLegislation blog at http://nodesignlegislation.wordpress.com for more information on interior design legislation.


Interior Design Protection Council

Protect Your Right to Practice!
NEW Alabama Practice Act will PUT YOU OUT OF BUSINESS

Senate Bill 344 and House Bill 491 are anti-competitive and anti-consumer!

Members of the Alabama design community:

As we previously reported, the Alabama State Board of Registration for Interior Designers tried a back-door — and we believe illegal — attempt to reinstate the unconstitutional practice act by simply amending the language and not going through the appropriate legislative process. And it might have worked, if IDPC, ADAD, IJ and NKBA had not thoroughly exposed and thwarted their under-the-radar tactics.

So now they have introduced a new practice act in the Senate (SB 344) and in the House (HB 491), and allegedly they are going to try and ram it through both houses within the next two weeks.

This even more restrictive and confusing practice act is mislabeled as the Alabama Interior Design Consumer Protection Act, when in fact, the only people protected by this act are the 262 licensed interior designers in the state who will be protected from YOU and your [superior] design abilities.

The bill contains a broad, loose definition of interior design which will surely cover the many services you provide. Interior design is defined to include:

  • programming, conducting research, identifying and analyzing the needs and goals of the client or occupant of the space, assessing project resources and limitations, developing project schedules and budgets
  • specifications, studies, and research,
  • reflected ceiling plans, space utilization, furnishings, floor plans, including preliminary space layouts and final planning,
  • construction documents,
  • the fabrication of nonstructural elements within and surrounding interior spaces of buildings, and
  • construction administration to monitor the contractor progress relating to nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure

YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO PRACTICE

AS YOU HAVE BEEN DOING

SINCE THE PREVIOUS PRACTICE ACT WAS DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Although poorly drafted and without actually saying so, under the proposed law, no person may render interior design services without a license. In order to obtain a license, you must:

  1. Have an accredited degree in interior design. DO YOU HAVE AN APPROVED DEGREE?
  2. Prove, to the satisfaction of NCIDQ, that you have a minimum of 2-4 years of interior design experience under the direct supervision of a registered interior designer or licensed architect.
  3. Pass the NCIDQ exam. WILL YOU EVEN BE ELIGIBLE TO SIT FOR THE TEST? PROBABLY NOT. IT REQUIRES A DEGREE IN INTERIOR DESIGN AND BETWEEN 2-4 YEARS OF FULL-TIME, DIVERSIFIED INTERIOR DESIGN EXPERIENCE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED OR NCIDQ CERTIFIED INTERIOR DESIGNER OR ARCHITECT BEFORE YOU CAN TAKE THE TEST. And they determine exactly what “diversified” means!

GRANDFATHERING? Only if you already have a license, will you be allowed to continue to practice.

EXEMPTIONS? You will be “allowed” to provide consultations, NOT DESIGN.

There are other problems with the proposed bill, such as the Board’s ability to suspended or revoke your license if it finds that you violated any standards of professional conduct that they decide and file legal proceedings against you should it be determined that you were practicing interior design without a license. IF THAT HAPPENS, YOUR CLIENTS COULD REFUSE TO PAY YOU FOR THE WORK THAT YOU PERFORMED AND YOU HAVE NO RECOURSE IN THE COURTS! And of course, the Board has the power to impose fines and sanctions up to $2,000!

CONSUMER PROTECTION? Absolutely NOT!

Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.

In fact, 12 government agencies have looked into this issue and concluded that interior design licensing does nothing to protect the public beyond the processes already in place.

Click here for a list and access to all 12 government reports.

DID YOU KNOW THAT….


Practice laws affect more than just interior designers? In Florida, approximately 22 professions have been the subject of disciplinary actions.

If you work in any of the following professions, beware — if SB 344 and HB 491 are enacted, you could be fined or even lose your ability to earn a living:

*interior designer *interior decorator *office furniture dealer *residential furniture dealer

*restaurant equipment dealer *flooring company *wall covering supplier *fabric vendor

*builder *real estate stager *real estate developer *realty company *remodeler

*accessories retailer *antiques dealer *engineer *drafting services *lighting company

*florist *kitchen design *upholstery workroom *carpet retail *art dealer

Even if you are an extremely successful or even a “celebrity” designer, you will not be sheltered from this law. In Florida, even internationally known designers like Kelly Wearsler, Hirsch Bedner Assoc., Juan Montayo, Clive Christian, and Phillip Sides were victims of ruthless disciplinary actions.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


You must act
now to let the members of the BOTH the Senate and House Committees know that, especially in this difficult economic climate, the state government should pass no legislation which would make it more difficult for its citizens to compete in the free and open market unless there is clear and compelling evidence — which is clearly lacking here.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED:

  1. Write to each committee member. A fax is best, followed by email if you don’t have access to a fax machine. Your letter should be no longer than one page.
  2. Call each Senate and House committee member, register your name, town, bill number and that you are opposed to it.
  3. Rally students to write as well. Licensing HURTS not helps them.
  4. Ask your clients, vendors, friends, family, and other consumers, to call or write to the committee on your behalf — especially if they are constituents of the member.

If you live in a surrounding state but work or plan to do design work in Alabama, then you also need to contact the Committee to protect your rights.

Click here for contact information on SENATE SMALL BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Click here for contact information on HOUSE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS COMMITTEE

Click here to read SB 344.

Click here to read HB 491.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at legislation@IDPCinfo.org

Patti Morrow

Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

Support our efforts to protect Minnesota interior designers’ rights and livelihoods.

Click here to become a member of IDPC.

Join Our Mailing List!

Forward to a friend!

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Interior Design Protection Council | 91 Reserve Place | Concord | NH | 03301

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