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International Product Safety Week - be aware when buying online

12 November 2018

In support of Product Safety Week, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is keen to ensure that local residents follow some simple safety tips when buying large domestic appliances online and are aware of how these steps can help to protect their homes and families.

International Product Safety Week - be aware when buying online

According to new research, nearly two thirds of adults (64%) admit they would spend more time online researching a new pair of trainers, a meal out or a holiday, compared to choosing a fridge freezer, 

Over a quarter of adults (29%) would be quite likely to purchase a fridge, freezer, cooker or washing machine from a seller they didn’t know, if they were the cheapest. While a similar percentage (29%) tend not to look at the instructions before switching on a new large domestic appliance for the first time.

Commissioned by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), as part of International Product Safety Week (12-16 November) the British research highlights differences in our attitudes to buying fickle fashion, food, or holidays, versus the kitchen stalwarts that keep our households ticking over year-in-year-out.

With seven Top Tips for online buyers of these powerful machines, HFRS is urging local residents to research products and sellers carefully and to treat their purchases well, to keep their families safe.

As well as following installation and user guides, buyers are encouraged to register their purchases with the manufacturers at www.registermyappliance.org.uk, so that they can be contacted in case a safety repair is ever needed. 

HFRS Public Safety Group Manager Steve Duffield explained the common problems when buying from the internet: 

“At least half of our major appliances are now purchased online yet, despite an expectation that we can plug them in and they will do the job safely on their own forever, it’s a concern that we seem to pay more attention to this season’s shoes than this piece of machinery, in which we place so much trust.

“We particularly ask anyone considering buying a second-hand fridge freezer or washing machine to first check they are not buying a faulty product by looking on the Government recall listing page at https://productrecall.campaign.gov.uk.” 

Top Tips for Buying Appliances Online:

• Check who you're buying from. Just like the high street, look for reputable sellers that you know, or check out what other buyers say.
• Research ratings and reviews. Choose the best model for your household.
• Check the recall listing. Know any product you should not buy at https://productrecall.campaign.gov.uk
• Of course compare prices. We all love a bargain, but if it looks too good to be true - it probably is.

Once your new appliance is home
• Register your product with the manufacturer. Be the first to know about recalls or safety repairs. Its quick and easy at www.registermyappliance.org.uk
• Follow the installation and user instructions
• Found a safety issue? Speak up! Report product safety problems to your retailer or manufacturer.

The survey which asked people about buying fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, ovens and cookers online, also revealed: 

50% of GB adults have purchased a white goods item online
16% were likely or very likely to consider purchasing a second-hand large appliance online in the future.
34% would like to check if the model they propose to purchase has been recalled, but don’t know how or where to.

NOTES 
• International Product Safety Week is an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  The mission of the OECD is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world and it provides a forum where governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
• AMDEA  is the UK trade association for manufacturers of large and small domestic appliances; representing over 85% of the domestic appliance industry and nearly 90% of white goods brands.  Members’ products include most of the UK’s top selling brands of major white goods, other large and small kitchen appliances, heating, water heating, floor care, waste disposal and ventilation equipment.
• The Register My Appliance portal was designed by AMDEA to make it quicker and easier for the public to register both new and older appliances, to improve ownership data. It currently provides access to 64 leading brands. By simply clicking on the brand logo the user reaches a data entry form linked directly to the relevant manufacturer, where the vast majority accept registrations of products up to 12 years old.