24th January 2019

Crucial day for appliance safety

Consumers are being reminded to register their electrical appliances – even ones that are several years old – in order to enable manufacturers to get in touch in the event of product recalls or safety issues.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
SHARE ARTICLE
Registering your fridges, freezers and other appliances only takes a few minutes and will make it easy for manufacturers to get in touch if there is a problem
These are the products that are most difficult to trace if a safety repair is ever needed

Today (January 24) is Register My Appliance Day, an initiative led by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) with the support of CTSI, the Office of Product of Safety and Standards, Fire and Rescue services and many others who recognise that appliance registration is a critical home safety precaution.

It gives the domestic appliance industry a chance to remind the UK public to take a few minutes on www.registermyappliance.org.uk  to register the 170 million large appliances they rely on every day.

With less than a third of these white goods registered when they were purchased, many brands are offering prize draws or incentives to encourage owners to get their fridges, freezers, washing machines, dryers and cooking appliances on record, in case a safety repair is ever needed.

Emphasising the importance of registering appliances, Consumer Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Keeping consumers safe is our number one priority, which is why we want to encourage everyone to take the time to register their appliance. Registering your fridges, freezers and other appliances only takes a few minutes and will make it easy for manufacturers to get in touch if there is a problem.

“The Office for Product Safety and Standards, which celebrates its first anniversary this week, is working closely with trade bodies like AMDEA to encourage quicker and more efficient online registration and I would encourage everyone to make full use of the website.”

New research published by AMDEA has specifically looked at multiple-ownership asking where one, or up to four, of each type of appliance is in use in homes. As consumers don’t necessarily de-commission an old appliance when they buy a new one, this has permitted revised and more accurate estimates of the vast number of large white goods currently running in UK households.

The Register My Appliance web portal, designed by AMDEA, is optimised for smartphone to make it quicker and easier to register more than 60 brands of appliances, in one place, directly with the manufacturer. The majority of brands offer registration of products up to at least 12 years old.

Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive of AMDEA, highlights the challenge of creating awareness without causing undue alarm: “Despite the vast number of large and powerful products in use, fortunately the incidence of recalls or safety actions is rare.

“However, we know that appliances are kept for many years and very few people realise that they can register older models. These are the products that are most difficult to trace if a safety repair is ever needed and we can only rely on their current owners to get in touch and let us know where they are.”

Previous research revealed that only 18% of people realised that they could register a product at any time after purchase. Yet consumers recognise their appliances can be around for many years. Expectations of lifespan were long and varied, with a net expectancy across all appliances of over 10.5 years.