Articles related to electrical equipment safety notices mainly around portable appliance testing
BSI Code of Practice for product recalls
(this is not our article; it has been taken direct from the UK Government website)
BSI Code of Practice will help businesses understand what to do if their product needs to be recalled.
Have you registered the appliances in your properties with the manufacturer?
When you buy appliances these days there is a warranty card in the box, if you complete and send it off you’ll be notified if there is ever a recall notice on the appliance.
Appliances, especially kitchen appliances get recalled all the time for all kinds of reasons, but sometimes its because they pose a serious risk, such as they can catch fire!
It’s shocking how many people aren’t aware of this until it is too late.
If you don’t have your appliances registered, haven’t filled the cards in or simply aren’t sure go to the Register My Appliance website to do just that – you don’t need to be a business; anyone can register.
You’ll need model information for the appliances but it’s well worth getting that as sometimes appliances can catch fire which is the last thing you want to happen.
Look at this photograph – this was a dishwasher, in a flat owned by a landlord and rented out to a tenant. The landlord wasn’t aware of the recalls notice on the dishwasher, and luckily the tenant was in when the fire started, and was able to put it out – will you be so lucky?
If you use us for your appliance testing we’ll cross-check your appliances with the register, and notify you of product recalls.
Don’t assume every PAT tester does this; we’re only aware of one other company in the UK actively doing this at this time – we’re hoping to encourage more to follow.
Electrical appliances get recalled all the time, for all kinds of reasons, often simple maintenance issues where if you get in touch with the manufacturer they’ll send an engineer out to do the work, but sometimes it’s because a fault has been found that makes the appliance highly dangerous, like it could overheat and catch fire.
If there is a risk of your appliance catching fire surely you’d want to get that checked out pretty quick?
Make sure you complete the warranty card
I’m a big advocate for completing warranty cards when I buy new appliances and urge anyone to do the same.
If you fill in that card and send it to the manufacturer you go on a database; if the machine is recalled you get a letter telling you what to do next.
This dishwasher, pictured, was never registered and the owner never checked the lists or even knew it was on the list. This dishwasher was in her flat, a flat she owned and rented out to a tenant.
One day, when it was on washing the dishes it overheated so quickly it set itself on fire and this is the result.
Don’t risk a fire
The effects of the fire could have been a lot worse had the tenant not been in the flat at the time, and had been so quick thinking – with the help of an oven glove she was able to bash out the flames and stop the fire spreading.
We got to see this dishwasher first hand; had we seen it before, we would have flagged it up to the landlord as being on a safety recall list, as that is something we do for landlords.
When we go into properties to maintain their appliances we cross reference them with the product recall lists and notify the landlords. We have had many instances of finding products on these lists.
If you want to get your appliances checked for safety including checking them against product recalls visit our landlord information page (for more info) or get in touch.
You can check your own products to see if they have been recalled via our product recalls page.
The following information highlights the importance of maintaining safe electrical appliances; this information was gathered by Electrical Safety First.
Incidents involving electrical equipment reported in the media – December 2016 – April 2017
As far as we’ve been made aware these figures are not official, and that the real figure would be a lot higher, as not all incidents are reported.
232 reported incidents in this period
The number of reported incidents from the 1st of December 2016 until the 31st of March 2017 is 232; up from 193 recorded in the previous quarter.
Breakdown of the most commonly recorded causes of fire from Electrical Safety First:
- Tumble dryers – 101
- Electrical fault fires – 30
- Washing machines – 23
- Chargers – 19
- Dishwashers – 18
- Electric blankets – 11
- Refrigerators – 5
As in the previous period, white goods were responsible for a significant proportion of the incidents over this period – around 63% of all recorded incidents.
More than 4 million household appliances have been recalled by manufacturers in the past four years with faults that include a risk of fire or electric shock, and yet the majority may still be in UK homes.
The findings are reported in a study published by Electrical Safety First. Since the start of 2011, 228 different electrical products have been recalled– including seven types of fridge, four washing machines and seven hairdryers – yet typically only 10% to 20% of recalled products are ever returned or repaired.
Underestimating the risks posed by recalled products is a major factor in the low recall success rate. Many people surveyed by Electrical Safety First said they associated recalls with ‘annoying faults’ rather than safety, and 2.6 million UK adults say they have knowingly ignored a recall notice. The Charity wants to raise awareness of the risk of ignoring a recall notice after it found that 77% of people would be more likely to respond if they understood the potential dangers.
Electrical Safety First is also keen to stress that whilst there have been a number of high profile fires involving kitchen ‘white goods’ in the past year, smaller items can also pose a safety risk.
Its research found that a fifth of UK adults would be more likely to respond to a recall of a large product than a small product, yet the Charity found the electrical items most reported as faulty or dangerous are smaller ones such as chargers, hairdryers, toasters and kettles.
Full details at Electrical Safety First’s own website – Originally produced by Seaward
We recommend that when you buy an electrical appliance, complete the warranty card that comes with it, and return it. You’ll then be notified directly if the product gets recalled.