SOURCE: Center for America

Center for America

Center for America

July 01, 2015 09:00 ET

Smoke Alarm That Cautions: "Silence Feature…Will Not Extinguish a Fire" Named One of America's Wackiest Warnings

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - July 01, 2015) - The five wackiest warning labels in America have just been announced as part of the 18th annual Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest. They are:

"Silence Feature is intended to temporarily silence the horn while you identify and correct the problem…It will not extinguish a fire."

A label on a ceiling-mounted smoke alarm

(Submitted by Charlene Fairleigh, Eugene, Oregon)

"This toy is in no way intended to represent living people. Any resemblance is purely coincidental and not intended to harm anyone."

A warning on a one-inch tall water-absorbent grow toy that looks like the Easter Bunny

(Submitted by Jacob Eckberg, Hopewell, Virgina)

"Door may swing open or closed in windy conditions. Door could hit person causing injury."

A label on a patio door

(Submitted by Elizabeth Stout, New Orleans, Louisiana)

"Contains fish."

A warning on a bag of frozen catfish pieces

(Submitted by James Andrews, College Station, Texas)

"Bowl at your own risk. Risk of bodily injury is associated with this game."

A warning at a bowling alley

(Submitted by Conor Friedersdorf, Venice, California)

The contest was created by Center for America senior fellow, Bob Dorigo Jones, bestselling author of "Remove Child Before Folding: The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever!"

"We find these silly warning labels on products sold throughout America because, in this era of excessive litigation, labels must do more than protect consumers from possible injuries, they have to protect product makers from frivolous lawsuits," said Dorigo Jones. "In recent years, more and more judges have been willing to overlook personal responsibility in injury lawsuits and force job providers to defend themselves against lawsuits by people who ignored common sense and sued anyway."

"The real issue is not the obvious warning labels, but the billions of dollars in litigation costs passed on to consumers -- a kind of a 'lawsuit tax' we all pay," added Dorigo Jones.

Hilarious and thought provoking past winners include:

  • "Remove child before folding" -- on a baby stroller!
  • "Does not supply oxygen" -- a label on a common dust mask (2011 Contest Winner)
  • "Never operate your speakerphone while driving" -- on a hands-free cell phone product called the "Drive 'N' Talk"! (2010 Contest Winner)
  • "Not for use on moving vehicles" -- the warning on the "Off-Road Commode," a portable toilet seat that attaches to a trailer hitch!
  • "Danger: Avoid Death" -- a warning on a small tractor!
  • "Harmful if swallowed" -- a warning on a brass fishing lure with a three-pronged hook
  • "This product moves when used" -- a warning on a popular children's scooter!

Dorigo Jones has been talking about the Contest on his national weekly radio commentary, "Let's Be Fair!" and in his "Let's Be Fair!" blog (www.bobdorigojones.com), and he would love to talk to you.

The Wacky Warning Labels™ Contest is a project of The Center for America, a dynamic non-profit organization educating, motivating and empowering the American people to reduce barriers to free enterprise. The Center for America also coordinates the "American Jobs for America's Heroes"project that helps unemployed National Guard members, veterans and spouses find jobs in the private sector. See more about CFA and Wacky Warning Labels™ at www.centerforamerica.org.

Last year, contest results reached more than 180 million Americans via international media coverage. Wacky Warning Labels™ is a project of The Center for America, a dynamic non-profit organization educating, motivating and empowering the American people to reduce barriers to free enterprise. See more about CFA and Wacky Warning Labels™ at www.centerforamerica.org.

The following files are available for download:

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