Warning over spring-loaded umbrellas

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 12:00am

New spring-loaded umbrellas - which expand and collapse with a push of a button - may cause injuries, the Consumer Council warned yesterday.

The council said trying to push the handle into place could cause injuries after recent reports that handles have sprung back and hit people.

In Japan, a number of people, including primary schoolchildren, have reportedly been hit in the eyes, nose, teeth and forehead, said Ambrose Ho, the chairman of the council's publicity and community relations committee.

Last year a woman complained to the council after a rebounding handle hit her on the chin, Mr Ho said.

He said people should use both hands to make sure the handle is snapped into place.

'That act itself requires a bit of force. And consumers, when they use the umbrella, should make sure that the catch, when they [push] the handle back into the umbrella, is sufficiently secured,' he said.

Before buying an umbrella, test it, he added.

Meanwhile, the council looked at the safety of 10 HD-ready LCD TV sets with the help of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.

After the study, five sets received a perfect safety score of five, while the other sets had one or more minor issues.

The sets that did have small problems were 'still safe to use under normal circumstances', Mr Ho said.

The five top sets were the BenQ VJ2611, the Panasonic TX-26LX75M, the Philips 26TA2800, the Sony KLV26U300A and the Toshiba 26A3000E. The Samsung LA26R71BA scored 4.8 because a wire was wrongly coloured.

The LG 26LC4R took the next spot with 4.6 because of inadequate insulation requirements, and the OLEVIA 526-B21 followed with 4.5 because of a labelling flaw.

The HPC LWD260-EB and the Skyworth LCD-26L16 both tied with 4.4, and were knocked for labelling flaws and inadequate insulation requirements.




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