Are you using dangerous electrical appliances in your home?

Is your bank holiday about to be a blazer or shocker?
23rd March 2017
Is your rented property in Andover safe?
23rd March 2017

Fire in overloaded power strip isolated white background

How often do you stop and think about how safe the electrical items are in your home? Let’s be honest, most of us don’t think twice, we simply plug in and go! Some of us even take the odd risk here and there – yes the item seems to be quite hot, but hey, we carry on using it anyway.

Now, there is one important piece of electrical safety advice that as one of Andover’s leading electricians I feel I need to explain to you. It is about electrical product recalls.

When you hear of a product recall, what is your reaction? Do you take it seriously and return the product asap or do you ignore the notice and carry on using it anyway? Hopefully, you selected the first option…

Why are product recall notices so important?
Worryingly, product recall notices have a very low response rate, the average response rate is only between 10 and 20%. Nearly two million UK adults have knowingly ignored a product recall notice which is placing them at risk of serious electrical shock, electrical injury and house fire. This is not a good risk to be taking. All product recalls presenting a serious risk to the user, however, electrical products are particularly dangerous if they are unsafe to use.

As a local electrician in Andover, I work with many homeowners and landlords in the area carrying out a wide range of electrical jobs. I always find that people’s habits are the same – when it comes to looking after large electrical items, a lot more care is taken. As an example, would you be more concerned about a washing machine developing an electrical fault or an iron? The fact is, they both have the potential to give you a fatal electrical shock, so never underestimate an electrical item, and believe it to be little or no risk.

Are cheaper brands more at risk of product recall?
The basic answer to that is no – but always ensure you purchase electrical items from reputable outlets to be sure you are buying the genuine product. So long as the product is genuine, you are not at a greater risk of a product recall if you are using a lesser known brand.

Take Apple for instance – most households have some device made by Apple, however even Apple are not immune to product recalls, the Apple-Beats Pill XL Speaker, has been subject to a product recall 2 days ago due to the risk of fire from the battery overheating. If you have one of these products in your household, Apple is providing refunds or store credits.

Regardless of whether you own a store’s own label product or a premium brand, so long as the electrical item is genuine, the risk of a product recall is the same.

What damage can electrical items cause in the home?
Using a dodgy electrical item is far more than a 5-minute gamble – if it goes wrong, it can have serious consequences. As an electrician in East Andover, I have seen first hand the devastation faulty electrical items can cause. Many faulty electrical items end up overheating causing damage to the wiring inside walls. In severe cases, this can lead to a fire starting inside the wall.

The financial cost of repairing electrical damage like this is far higher than replacing the faulty electrical item and is never a nice job to have to carry out for reasons which are totally avoidable.

If you become aware of a product recall notice, stop using the affected product straight away. Similarly, if you become worried that an electrical product is malfunctioning, stop using it immediately and unplug it.

Acting on a product recall notice is really important!

However finding out about a product recall notice can be a tricky business. Luckily, help is at hand! The electrical safety charity Electrical Safety First has an excellent way of checking for every electrical item that has been under product recall since 2007! Simply enter the brand or type of electrical item you have to see if it is subject to a product recall.

So there we have it, folks! If you have a quiet weekend ahead, why not go through the electrical items in your home to ensure they are safe to use? It is great peace of mind and could even save a life of you or a loved one.