Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Register your appliances to protect your home and your family

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is urging residents to use a scheme to register their appliances and receive potentially life-saving safety updates.

The call comes as part of Electrical Fire Safety Month and is championed by Watch Manager Paul Pemberton after his own tumble dryer was found to have a safety risk.

Recent government research has revealed that 49% of people have never registered their products, or domestic appliances, which they use daily for essential tasks such as cooking and refrigerating food, washing laundry or dishes, and vacuuming. That means there’s an estimated 210 million unregistered products being used in the UK.

Watch Manager Paul Pemberton, Community Safety, found out about the Register My Appliance scheme through his community engagement work while carrying out his role at ECFRS. When Paul logged in to register his appliances, the website flagged a potential problem with his tumble dryer.

Talking about his experience, Paul said: “I had bought my tumble dryer some years ago from a reputable store that sold reconditioned, second-hand appliances. After registering with the manufacturer on ‘Register My Appliance’, I got an email informing me my appliance needed to be checked as it may be a part of a batch of tumble dryers being recalled for safety issues."

Paul followed the instructions and searched through the list of product recalls to find his product. He then contacted the manufacturer using the details provided by Register My Appliance. Whirlpool quickly responded, confirming they had identified a potential concern with a number of tumble dryers, where excess fluff was touching the heating element and causing a fire risk.

Whirlpool arranged a free visit from an engineer, to check and modify the appliance and make sure the fault would no longer pose a risk. They also advised Paul to unplug the appliance and stop using it until it had been checked. 

Paul said: “The manufacturer informed me that, due to the number of products affected, an engineer would be unable to come out for approximately six months to replace the faulty part. They said they understood this was a huge inconvenience, so offered me an option to purchase a brand-new tumble dryer at a heavily discounted cost, so I was very pleased.

“I recall the sense of relief I felt that the fault was raised - I would never have known otherwise. There were five of us living at the property at the time, so the tumble dryer was used daily. Registering my appliances could have avoided a fire from occurring in my home, which could have had serious outcomes for me and my family.”

In the last three years, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has attended more than 1500 fires caused by electrical goods. Ovens, hot plates and toasters were the biggest offenders, but other non-cooking appliances caused fires too. In fact, 11% of the fires were caused by faults in tumble dryers, washing machines, fridge freezers and dishwashers.

Registering your appliances is a quick and easy way to help keep your family safe. Occasionally, manufacturers may identify problems with a product after it has been in use for some time. Once registered, manufacturers can contact you directly to arrange for a faulty item to be fixed or replaced. Registering can also save you money by entitling you to an extended warranty or guarantee period, or, in cases like Paul’s, you may be offered a replacement product at a discounted cost.

It only takes a few minutes to register. And, you can register items up to 12 years old, even if you bought them second-hand. To register your appliances, simply visit: https://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/registration/

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