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Register my Appliance - helping homes be safer in seconds

Tuesday 16 January 2018

This week, Register My Appliance Day, saw organisations including Propertymark help promote the message that within a matter of seconds, tenants and landlords could register their appliances to help ensure that their lives, their homes and their investments were safe.

In what has now become a yearly event, on 16 January 2018, people were reminded to improve their home safety by registering their fridges, freezers and washing machines on the new streamlined version of www.registermyappliance.org.uk. Developed by the Association of Manufactures of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), the portal, now optimised for smartphones, makes registration of over 60 leading brands of old and new appliances faster and easier via mobile, tablet or PC.

Prize draw season
Many brands have been running prize draws throughout the month of January, including Register my Appliance Day, to encourage owners to look around their kitchens and register their older appliances too. Every registration increases their chances of winning a luxury prize and ensures the traceability of their products. Most makes accept registration of large appliances up to 12 years old.

For manufacturers, local and national government, increasing home safety has never been more important. With an estimated 93 million (92.7m.) wet and cold appliances1 currently in use in our homes, keeping track of our fridges, freezers and washing machines is a crucial safety precaution. By taking just a few minutes to register domestic appliances directly with the manufacturer, via the user-friendly portal www.registermyappliance.org.uk householders can be contacted quickly if a recall or free safety repair is ever needed.

Incidentally, a new report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has looked in to the safety of electrical goods, following their identification as to the cause of several recent high-profile fires, and wide-spread problems that manufacturer Whirlpool has had with their tumble dryers. The committee has made several recommendations, and has also recommended that the Government publish a full response to the Faulds Wood Review on product recalls by the end of February 2018.  

Government support
Supporting the initiative, Business Minister Andrew Griffiths MP, is keen to ensure that every UK household is encouraged to take this very simple step, and made aware of how it can help to protect their homes and families.

Despite intensive efforts by the campaign’s many influential supporters, accurate ownership data on white goods remains sparse. YouGov research2, shows that less than half of owners (46%) register the fridges they have bought. Primarily appliances aren’t registered because owners don’t think it’s necessary (39%). Similarly, almost a third (29%) of households found a fridge in situ when they moved into their current property, and although they continue using it, the great majority (80%) have no idea if it is registered. Very few people (15%) realise that they can register an appliance with the manufacturer, even if they acquired it second hand or inherited it3.

The latest YouGov survey also revealed that our most important material possessions are our phones (61%) and cars (55%), followed closely by our fridges (48%) and washing machines (48%). Yet, unlike our 32 million cars4, the majority of large white goods, that we keep running for years without a health check, are untraceable. Women placed a higher importance on their washing machine (55%) than their car (54%). Despite this, only half (52%) of these prized purchases were registered5.

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:

“Our industry aims to help the public to understand why registration is important and make it as easy and secure as possible. Recalls are rare and appliances are safer than ever before, but to ensure a long, safe, efficient life, our members need to know where to find their products, if a repair or modification is needed. 

“It was interesting that women ranked their washing machine slightly more important than a car, while men gave more importance to their fridge than their washing machine5. But this still made no impact on the perceived need to register. These large powerful machines are indispensable, yet we tend to take them for granted and forget they are there. It is also vital that they are installed and used according to the instructions, and advice on safe usage is also available on the Register My Appliance portal.”

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:
“Public safety is the Government’s number one priority. It’s important that manufacturers can get in touch with consumers quickly if there are any problems with their appliances, which is why I fully back AMDEA’s Register My Appliance Day.

“The ‘Register My Appliance’ website is a simple, free and quick tool to keep consumers safe so I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes to use it.”

On Register my Appliance Day manufacturers sent reminders to over 4 million consumers to register their products. While supporters including the Fire and Rescue Services nationwide, the Local Government Association, RoSPA, Trading Standards, Citizens Advice, Electrical Safety First, leading private and social landlord groups are using internal communications, regional press and social media to promote www.registermyappliance.org.uk.

1BEIS, Market Transformation Programme, Energy Consumption in the UK, Table 3.12, Fridges, freezers, washing machines, dish washers and tumble dryers.

2 All figures, unless otherwise stated are from YouGov survey for AMDEA, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances. Total sample size was 2033 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 – 21st December 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

3 Previous YouGov survey for AMDEA.  Total sample size was 2028 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  5th - 6th January 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

4 DVLA/DfT, December 2017, VEH0101

5 An important item in my life? Men: my car 57%, my fridge 47%; my washing machine 40%. Women:  my washing machine 55%; my car 54%; my fridge 49%