July 7, 2014
Shane KitzmanStaff Writer
Tim Cassidy doesn’t consider himself an inventor, but he currently has a patent pending to help keep children safe.
As Best Buy’s Director of Product Safety and Compliance, Cassidy is among the first to hear concerns about some products that Best Buy sells. In addition to handling product recall alerts, he works with activists and agencies that need his help to ensure safety.
Cassidy recently received a request from the Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) to help guard against the dangers of coin-cell batteries, which are about the size of a quarter and can be accidentally eaten by children. These batteries are often found in key fobs and small remote controls.
Ingesting these batteries can result in chemical burns with permanent scarring, or even death if not discovered within minutes of swallowing.
Cassidy changed manufacturers’ packaging to make the batteries less accessible to kids and then modified the batteries’ design to make them inherently safe, even when ingested. After testing the design changes with bologna, which emulates the human esophagus (who knew?), Best Buy’s team determined the battery was safer.
The patent’s timeline is unknown, but as long as children are safer thanks to Cassidy’s creation, it’s a win-win.