Just as you want to keep your home safe, you need to keep your appliances safe too! Operating your electrical appliances unsafely can pose some serious risks so it’s best to be in the know.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when purchasing and using your appliances to keep you and your home safe and sound.
Check before you buy
If you’re thinking about purchasing a new appliance, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind. Firstly, think carefully about the place you are buying from. Sure, the internet has made purchases a whole lot easier, but, if it’s a seller based outside of the UK, there’s a chance it may not be manufactured or labelled in accordance with UK safety laws.
To find out, check for safety markings. Some products must display the CE mark to be sold in the UK. This is a statement from the manufacturer that the product meets specific safety, health and environmental requirements. Also, make sure you have the name and the address of the manufacturer and the item comes with a user manual. (These can also be found on our website if buying second-hand.)
More advice on safely buying electrical goods can be found on the Electrical Safety First site.
Register your appliance
Most electrical appliances can be registered with the manufacturer online. This means you will be directly informed if there are any safety issues with your make and model and can get help with repairs as soon as possible. If it is recalled, a refund or replacement will be arranged. Find out more about product safety recalls here.
Read the user manual!
Yes, they don’t make for great bedtime reading, but it’s actually very important to read and understand your user manual. It provides advice on how to use your model, information on safety and how to contact the manufacturer should you need to. Here is everything you need to know about product user manuals.
Never leave your appliances unattended
This could be a fire risk. Other than those appliances that need to be constantly working like your fridge and freezer, make sure you’re at home while your appliances are running. It’s best not to run them at night when you’re asleep either.
Turn off standby
For appliances that don’t need to run constantly, turn them off during the day. This will limit any risks and also save you money on energy bills too!
Keep all cords, outlets, and electronics away from water
If you use any electrical appliances outdoors or near water, be sure to keep cords dry.
Regularly check cords and cables
Speaking of cords and cables, make sure you are regularly checking these for any signs of damage or for loose connections.
Only use extension cords as a temporary solution
Extension cords can pose several risks, including loose connections that could cause sparks and start a fire. If you need to use one, make sure it’s the appropriate type for the appliance in question.
Keep flammable items away from sources of heat
Keep items such as clothing and cleaning products away from your heated appliances as this can be a fire hazard. This can be common where appliances are stored inside cupboards so be sure to store these items elsewhere.
Always use the right fuse
An incorrect fuse can cause a cable to overheat and means the appliance is not protected in case of an electrical fault. Always follow the appliance’s instruction manual.
Regularly clean and descale your appliances
Cleaning your appliances and removing any dirt and grime will help prevent any safety hazards. Keep your dryer lint-free, get rid of grease and stuck-on food from your oven and keep your other appliances clean. This will also help prolong the life of your appliances too.
Turn off and disconnect your appliance
If you are concerned your appliance has a safety issue, turn it off and disconnect it from the mains until you can find the solution.
Contact the manufacturer
You can find the details for your appliance manufacturer in your user manual. Let them know what the issue is and they can advise you further.
Check for recalls
Your appliance may have actually been recalled for this safety issue. If this is the case and you have registered your appliance with the manufacturer, you should be contacted. If you haven’t and are concerned, you can find out how to check for recalls yourself here.
Contact Citizens Advice
If you are concerned about the safety of your appliance but it has not yet been recalled, you can contact Citizens Advice. They may refer your complaint to the relevant local Trading Standards service, who may take further action. You may be entitled to a refund, a replacement or a repair if there is a safety issue with a product you own, but not if you have damaged or misused it.
We hope this has given you some handy tips to ensure the safety of your appliances and your home!