Safety Practices and Awards
**Please see our Certificate of Compliance at the end of this web page!
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) over-sees the safety of products sold in the United States. In response to safety concerns created primarily by recalls of imported toys, the federal govenment instructed the CPSC to enforce what has been a list of voluntary safety "guidelines" as safety "requirements". The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) contains a host of regulations that are being phased in over time. The CPSC and manufacturers are constantly improving systems and procedures to insure products sold in the US comply with safety regulations established by congress. We provide information here as the process evolves.
One of the requirements of the CPSIA is that we clearly identify where our products are made. You can rest assured: All Beka wood products are made by us (Beka, Inc.) in our shop in St. Paul, MN (USA).
We are also required to make sure you know: our products are designed to be assembled by adults. Many of our products are sold with hardware (metal screws, bolts, washers, wing nuts) an adult will use in the assembly process. Prior to its use, hardware can pose a hazard to children (small parts and sharp points); in addition plastic bags used to hold hardware and small product components can pose a hazard to young children. Never let children play with loose hardware or plastic bags. Please dispose of any unused hardware, plastic bags and other packing material appropriately.
Beka products have always been designed to comply with CPSC safety guidelines, so meeting CPSIA requirements has been easy for us. We first test our products ourselves and then send samples to third party labs for their testing and certification. Our focus on natural woods allows us to avoid most safety concerns related to paint (since we don't use surface finishes, we don't need to worry about lead or heavy metals that can crop up in paint). Still, we test all our raw materials for safety (something made easier by the fact that our Hard Maple, Chalkboard and Markerboard panels are purchased from US manufacturers who are themselves subject to rigorous testing).
Our locally produced products have received a variety of national awards; here is a partial list:
* Again this year (2011) our Deluxe Easel has been chosen by Dr. Toy as a Best Classic Toy!
Club House Theaters : Parents’ Choice Silver Award, Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toy, Dr. Toy’s Top 100 Toys, Institute for Childhood Resources Best Classic Toy.
Hard Maple Block Sets : Early Childhood News 100 Best Products, Creative Child’s Creative Toy Award, Dr. Toy 100 Best Products.
Deluxe Easels : Creative Child’s Creative Toy Award, Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toy, Dr. Toy’s Smart Toys List
Art Tables : Creative Child’s Creative Toy Award, Dr. Toy 100 Best Products, Dr. Toy’s Smart Toys List
We have been making natural wood products since 1973, so as you might imagine we've received a wide range of awards over those 38+ years. Our products have been acknowledged for their creative designs, as classics praised for reliability, for their flexibility and ease of use, etc. Given how often product recalls and safety concerns are seen in the media, formal awards are one way for us to reassure you that you can trust our products.
Our most meaningful “award”, however, is the positive feedback we receive from people who have used Beka products for years, and plan to use them for years to come. It’s not unusual for us to hear from an excited grandparent, who has a question related to cleaning up their child’s easel or a block set as a gift for a grandchild. We have replaced puppet theater curtains lost during cross country moves, sent instruction sheets to families who just “inherited” a Beka Loom from an aunt, shipped new easel trays to schools wanting to shift from platic to wood trays.....and the list goes on. One of the things we take pride in is the great feedback we regularly get from people who are enjoying things we’ve made. What can be better than that!
Ask your friends about Beka products; they're the best source of information you'll find. Tell your friends about Beka products; you're the best source of information they'll find!
For information about a specific award listed above, contact the folks managing that program (they can all be searched on-line).
**Certificate of Compliance
As required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008
Beka products are compliant to August 2009 requirements
Hard Maple, Chalkboard and Markerboard surfaces, Baltic Birch, and other components (hardboard, plastic easel trays, hardware, etc).
Easels, Puppet Theaters, Tables, Storage Carts, Block Sets, Stilts,
Multi-level Garages/Construction Zones, Weaving Looms, Ring Toss Games, and newer items tested before being added to our product line.
Safety regulations to which products are certified*:
16 CFR 1030 Lead Content Limits
Ban on Phthalate
ASTM F963 Heavy Metals Limits
ASTM F963 Mechanical Hazards
Manufactured by Beka, Inc.
Ph. 651 - 222 - 7005
Records maintained by James Kreisman, President Beka, Inc.
Products Manufactured on or after December 2008
By Beka, Inc.
Products tested on or after December 2008
Third-Party Testing performed by
Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services, Inc.
Ph. (716) 505 - 3300
Toy Testing Lab (a division of RI Analytical)
41 Illinois Ave. Warwick, RI 02888
Ph. (800) 937 - 3580
* The CPSC has determined that natural wood is by its nature free of lead and heavy metals in levels that might present health concerns. As a result, the CPSC has exempted natural wood (unpainted wood) from third-party testing. All wood products are still subject to mechanical hazards testing.