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Paper shredders have been widely used in the office environment; they are now also popular and commonly used in consumers’ homes to destroy confidential documents and prevent identity theft. The risk of injury becomes a concern for the home environment where children and pets may be present. With paper shredders increasingly becoming common household items, children and pets are falling victim with greater frequency. The injuries include finger amputations, lacerations, and other injuries from paper shredders. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 100+ reports of finger amputations, lacerations and other injuries from paper shredders from 2000 to 2009. These injuries typically occur to children under the age of 5 years. 22 (71%) of the 31 home paper shredder injuries involved children under 12 years of age and over half of those injuries involved children under 3 years of age. “Young children are interested in imitating adult activities,” says the CPSC, “and the children may try to activate the shredder when an adult is not present.” The reason of greatest risk to young children is their fingers are small enough to fit in the shredder opening. Injuries can occur even under adult supervision; children are most likely lacked of risk awareness to release the paper in time to avoid fingers get pulled into the shredding mechanism.

CPSC offers the following safety tips when using a paper shredder:

  • Never allow children to operate paper shredders, even under adult supervision. Paper shredders can pull children’s fingers into the shredder mechanism.
  • Place the paper shredder in an area less accessible to children.
  • Unplug the paper shredder power cord when the shredder is not in use.
  • Do not place hands or fingers in the shredder opening.
  • Do not operate a paper shredder while wearing loose fitting clothing that may enter the shredder opening.
  • Keep hair and items, such as a tie or a long necklace, away from the shredder opening.
  • Newer paper shredders, manufactured after 2007, are safer in design. They minimize the chances of children’s fingers entering the shredder opening, to prevent injuries to kids and pets.

Aurora provides paper shredders with proactive and advanced safety features to help prevent any potential dangers to both children and pet, and ensure safe shredding experience:

1. ShredSafe: Auto power-off when forced entry is detected to prevent accident.
2. TouchGuard: Stops shredding immediately when bioelectricity sensor detects bio-based object, for example, your hands are too close to the paper entry.

Paper shredders have been the essential equipment for both home and office. They are safe and effective when used properly. Operate your shredder in a safe manner to minimize risk of injury and ensure no harm to anyone in your home environment.

Reference

US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Washington, D.C 20207: Paper Shredder Safety Alert. Publication 5127

--- www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5127.pdf

Shredder Safety Stories

Paper Shredder Danger For Kids, Pets (CBS News Video)
     http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1476371n
Paper Shredder Wounds Puppy (ABC News Video)
     http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2837953
Paper Shredders Pose Serious Injury Risk
     http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/safety/toddlerproofing/paper-shredders-pose-serious-injury-risk/
CPSC Evaluation of Finger Injuries Associated with Home Document (paper) Shredder Machines
     http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia05/os/papershred1.pdf
Paper Shredder Safety Factsheet
     http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/fspapershredder.pdf