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Are you switched on to appliance safety?

Monday 29 January 2018

Appliance safety is massive news right now, with the Government having announced that they are to establish an Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) office just last week, and manufacturers coming under scrutiny amid recent high profile news stories.

As a Propertymark agent you'll no doubt want to do everything you can to make sure your tenants are safe. Many landlords, tenants and even agents don't realise how easy it is to minimise the risk of safety hazards, and aren’t even aware that even that a central portal for registering appliances exists.

Even for those that are aware of the government backed Register My Appliance portal, there are a number of reasons why appliances get missed or additional appliances end up in rental properties, which could result in landlords and tenants not being kept in the loop about product recalls and safety notices:

• The property might be let unfurnished
• In furnished properties tenants often like to add their own additional appliances
• Sometimes landlords might add appliances mid-way through a tenancy after you’ve done an inventory, or
• A previous tenant might leave behind unwanted appliances.

By reminding your landlords and tenants (on handover) to register their appliances, you can help ensure tenants’ safety.

A previous YouGov Survey in association with Association of Manufactures of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) found that almost a third (29%) of households found a fridge in situ when they moved in to their current property, and, although they continue using it, the great majority (80%) have no idea if it’s registered. Very few people (15%) realise they can register an appliance with the manufacturer, even if they acquired it second hand or inherited it. These appliances are effectively strangers, and neither your tenant, your landlord or the manufacturer know very much about it. 

This year, the appliance industry is urging owners to put these machines on the map by registering them at the new streamlined version of www.registermyappliance.org.uk, thus ensuring they can be contacted immediately if an important, free, safety repair becomes necessary.

Developed by AMDEA, the portal is backed by Government and supported by Propertymark. The portal is also now optimised for smartphones and makes registration of over 60 leading brands of old and new appliances faster and easier via mobile, tablet or PC. The majority of leading brands accept registration of products up to 12 years old.

Some simple instructions to give your tenants and landlords

All that is needed is the product’s serial number, found on the appliance data plate (on the door frame of ovens, on the door of washing machines and inside the fridge compartment).

When clicking on the brand at www.registermyappliance.org.uk/registration/ and entering the model, the majority of manufacturers show where to find the data. The web page also tells you what you need to get started.

Appliances are built to last and the average lifespan of large white goods, helping us to handle our daily chores, is 12-13 years. However, to ensure a long, safe, efficient life, the appliance industry needs to know where to find their products if a safety repair or modification is ever needed. With an estimated 93 million wet and cold appliances currently in use in UK homes, ensuring the traceability of fridges, freezers and washing machines is a crucial safety precaution.

Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive, AMDEA says the industry has been working hard to ensure the registration system is in tune with the pace of smart technology, and urges the public to take advantage of this:

“Registering via your smartphone is free, quick and simple. It is definitely the most effective way to ensure that manufacturers can get in touch with home owners, tenants and landlords quickly.

"We are glad to see home safety is at the forefront of Government policy and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has started the year by introducing a new Office for Product Safety & Standards. However, www.registermyappliance.org.uk targets ownership data on the products acquired over the last decade, to ensure all relevant households can be found, if the need arises.”