16 November 2018
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​Online shoppers are being encouraged to do their research thoroughly if buying a new appliance for their homes.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is currently supporting International Product Safety Week (November 12 to 16), focusing on the importance of taking care when choosing products on the internet.

National survey figures have also been revealed, suggesting 64 per cent of adults would spend more time online finding out about new trainers, a meal out or holiday, compared to choosing a fridge freezer.

Product recall

As well as following installation and user guides, buyers are being encouraged to register their purchases with manufacturers at Register my appliance, so they can be contacted if a safety repair or product recall is ever needed.

Tina Collett, District Liaison Officer at NFRS, said: “These days, people buy many of their major household appliances online, with the simple expectation they will work and will be safe to use.

“But it is so vital to make every effort to buy from reputable sellers who you know, or to at least research what other buyers are saying about the product. Doing some research and exercising caution when buying online could make all the difference to the safety of shoppers and their families.”

Tips for buying appliances online

  • Check who you are buying from. Just like the high street, look for reputable sellers you know, or check what other buyers say.
  • Research ratings and reviews when buying an appliance.
  • Make sure you compare prices. People are always looking for a bargain but should be wary if the price of something looks too good to be true.
  • Always follow installation and user instructions when you receive your appliance.
  • If you find a safety fault, make sure this is reported to the retailer or manufacturer.
  • When your new appliance reaches your home, register it with the manufacturer to make sure you are informed about recalls or safety repairs. This can be done by visiting Register my appliance.

  • Check the recall listing. Know any product you should not buy at the GOV.UK product recall page.
  • Charger safety – always use genuine chargers. Fakes can cause deadly electric shocks or start a fire. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid leaving devices on charge for long periods and never leave devices charging on soft surfaces such as sofas or beds. Unplug chargers and devices when not in use and don’t use damaged chargers or leads. Share this advice with children so they can use their devices safely.