Register your appliances, urges minister

Register My Appliance Day saw millions of people receive a safety message when registering their new products, advising them not to forget any older machines they may have in their kitchens.

Register My Appliance is a safety initiative run by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (Amdea). Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, is encouraging more people to register their appliances on its web portal, as thousands of people are missing out on product safety warnings if they don’t.

Millions of people received a message from their favourite brands reminding them, as they register online any items picked up in the January sales, also to register any older appliances they have at home.

Less than half (47 per cent) of people surveyed by Electrical Safety First (ESF) last year registered the last product they bought, which means they could be untraceable if a safety action is necessary.

Normally a simple, free, in-home visit by a qualified technician is all that is needed to fix a product. However, manufacturers need to identify and contact owners swiftly to organise such repairs.

The Register My Appliance portal has a growing number of supporters, including the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Age UK, Citizens Advice, Electrical Safety First and local fire and rescue services. It provides access to the registration pages of 62 leading brands, representing more than 90 per cent of the large white goods UK market.

Amdea chief executive Douglas Herbison said: “Everyone should take this opportunity to register their new and old domestic appliances in the interests of the safety of their homes and families. Even though product recalls in our sector are relatively rare (around seven recalls a year), if a free safety modification does become necessary, it’s imperative that manufacturers have an efficient way of tracking down relevant owners so that the household remains safe.”

The online safety initiative allows products up to 12 years old to be registered. Manufacturers are keen to raise awareness of the potentially dangerous wear and tear that old, unregistered products could have suffered.

Ms Soubry said: “Register My Appliance ensures consumers never miss out on any important product safety messages. Good ownership data is key to getting safety information to the people that need it and I encourage everyone to invest a little time to register their products.”