Is There A Silent Killer Lurking In Your Home?

01 March 2019

Do you register your electrical appliances? If not, you could be living in a home where a disaster is hiding in plain sight just waiting to happen. The shocking truth is, an average of two thirds of Brits’ electrical products aren’t registered with the manufacturer. These include dishwashers, tumble dryers, fridges etc. which total to an astounding 268 million unregistered electrical products.

Our research even found that registering an electrical product came 2nd on a list of Brits’ most forgotten tasks, only slightly beaten by taking an umbrella out! While forgetting your umbrella may leave you a tad annoyed and a bit damp, the repercussions of forgetting to register your products is much graver. Quite a lot of people opt out of registering as they believe it to just be a marketing tactic from the manufacturer, when in actual fact registering your product allows you to be contacted if a potentially dangerous fault is discovered with your appliance.

This may still not convince you to start registering your electrical products as you might still believe that it will never happen to you. However, new research shows that a staggering 7 fires occur every single day across England and Wales as a result of faulty domestic appliances and leads, some of which having devastating consequences.

The facts and figures:

(from ESF consumer research via Censuswide of 5,000 people in the UK):
  • The UK population have on average 15 electrical appliances in their home, with approximately 10 of these being unregistered.
  • Less than half of respondents said they registered the last electrical item they bought.
  • Less than a quarter of respondents said they would register all appliances and electrical products they bought during Black Friday/Cyber Monday or the Christmas/Boxing Day/January sales.
  • Only 38% of respondents said they knew the main risks associated with a recalled electrical product.
  • Over half of the respondents said that one reason why manufacturers urge you to register is to contact you with promotional marketing messages.


Maxine Smith, a mum from Ellesmere Port, sadly knows the consequences of overlooking the importance of registering a home appliance. Last month her tumble dryer burst into flames, leaving her without a home during the Christmas period. She later discovered that the dryer had previously been recalled. Reflecting on the experience she commented:

“It’s really opened my eyes to the precautions we should all take to stop this sort of thing from happening. The first step is registering all of your electrical products so if there are any dangerous faults found the manufacturer can contact you and they can be recalled.”

Angela Westbrook, mother of two from Lincoln, also experienced a similar incident in her home after being alerted by a fire in her kitchen thanks to a working smoke alarm. The fire seemed to originate from her dishwasher that she had turned on an hour earlier.

“I googled the make of the dishwasher afterwards and found that it had been flagged as a fire risk over five years ago and recalled. Given how much damage the fire could have caused; it’s really made me realise how important it is to register electrical appliances so that you can be contacted if a fault like this is discovered.”

Registering your appliance is easy and only takes a few minutes. There are two ways in which you can register:

  • Follow the instructions supplied with your product: Details on how to register your appliance can be found alongside the product’s instructions for how to operate and maintain it.
  • Register online. This way, even if you’ve had the item for a while and have long since lost the associated paperwork, it is still possible for you to register it.

In order to register your product, you’ll usually need:

  1. The brand name
  2. The model (usually either a name or a number)
  3. The serial number
  4. The date of purchase (or as near to it as you can remember)

For more help with registering, visit: Product Registration

For a list of recently recalled products, visit: Product Recalls

For more details on this campaign, check out our press release: 268 Million Potentially Dangerous Unregistered Electrical Products In Homes Up And Down The Country

More posts by Samantha Mager

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