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The domestic appliance industry is reminding the public to take a few minutes on to register the 170 million large appliances they rely on every day to handle essential chores, chill food and cook for their families.

With less than a third of these white goods registered when they were purchased (average 31%), many leading 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.

Sadly, many owners remain unaware of product recalls or safety advice given on their white goods, which can lead to fires in the kitchen, utility room or even the garage. After recent dishwasher fires in the area, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to take half an hour or so to make a note of the make, model and serial number of all their kitchen appliances and register them on this national database.

Recent research published by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (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 we don’t necessarily de-commission an old appliance when we buy a new one, this has permitted revised and more accurate estimates of the vast number of large white goods currently running in GB households.

We have become so reliant on our freezers, perhaps because they offer us the benefits of faster home cooking and less food waste, that over 2 million are now owned by four-freezer households. If you are wondering who has the space, nearly one third (29%) of these households keep a freezer in the garage or shed. The Register My Appliance web portal, designed by AMDEA, is optimised for smartphone to make it quicker and easier to register over sixty leading brands of appliances, in one place, directly with the manufacturer.

Recognising the lack of ownership data on many older products, still in use, the majority of brands offer registration of products up to at least twelve years old. However, two thirds (67%) of respondents have never registered an older appliance that they may have bought a couple of years ago, found in their homes when they moved in, were given by family or friends, or bought second-hand.

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.”

Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive, 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. When respondents considered a list of nine actions that they ever take to ensure the safety of their home, making sure appliances are registered with the manufacturer rubbed along the bottom, at number eight, second only to using security cameras.

AMDEA’s Register My Appliance Day is supported by the Office of Product of Safety and Standards, the Home Office, Fire and Rescue services nationwide, consumer groups, social and private landlords, among many others who recognise that appliance registration is a critical home safety precaution.

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.