Sales shoppers urged to register electrical products to stop their worst fears becoming a reality

08 January 2016

  • Despite fears of house fires and electrocution, many people are not registering their electrical products
  • Not registering electrical products means you can’t be contacted if a product is recalled
  • Over 300 different products have been recalled in the last five years including chargers, hair dryers and kitchen appliances

As shoppers flock to the January sales to bag bargain appliances, Electrical Safety First, the UK’s leading safety charity, is urging people to register their new electrical products immediately to help ensure their worst fears don’t become a reality. House fires and electric shocks, which can be caused by faulty appliances, are amongst our biggest fears, yet most people still don’t register their electrical items, therefore manufacturers are unable to contact them in the event of a recall.

Faulty appliances alone cause £41.6 million of damage in the UK every year and 46 deaths are caused annually by electrical fires[i]. 

A new study from the Charity found that a house fire[ii], being burnt[iii] and getting an electric shock[iv] top the list of fears people have about their homes. However, while the majority of people said they know a recalled item can cause a fire or electrocution[v], less than half[vi] of people in the UK registered the last electrical item they bought, leaving themselves open to the danger of having a recalled item in their home.  

Registering an appliance ensures you receive important safety messages about the item you possess. Since 2011 there have been over 300 different recalled electrical items, including frequently used products such as phone charges and adapters, kitchen appliances, hairdryers and washing machines.

Despite 89% of people saying they would return an electrical item if they knew it had been recalled[vii] the success rate for recalls in the UK is rarely more than 10-20%[viii], indicating people may be unknowingly living with a potentially dangerous recalled item as it isn’t registered.

Richard Reid, TV Psychologist & founder of Pinnacle Therapy said:

“We all know that most people are afraid of fires and electric shocks so it’s hard to understand why so many of us choose to take such a risk by not registering our electrical products, especially when the consequences can be catastrophic. People often ignore the risks because they assume that bad things happen to other people or that the odds are stacked in their favour. However, unfortunately risky behaviour only increases your chances of something bad happening. I would implore people to take precautions and register their appliances. It could save your life.”

Emma Apter, Electrical Safety First said:

“We know electrical products are high on shopping lists this sale season so we’re urging the public to keep their families and homes safe by making a habit of registering a new product as soon as they get it home. People may think it’s too much hassle or there is no benefit of providing contact details but an unregistered appliance can be a hidden danger in homes as it’s difficult for manufacturers to trace them.”

To check if an electrical item has been recalled, visit: and to register an appliance, visit:


For more information please contact Libby, Tanya or Sarah on or call 0207 403 2230.

Notes to editors

  • Case studies available upon request
  • Electrical Safety First is the UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents. We campaign to improve safety regulation and messages, and provide expert information and advice to the public and professionals to help ensure everyone in the UK can use electricity safely. Visit for more information
  • All consumer research, unless otherwise stated, was conducted from 4-6th December 2015 by Populus on behalf of Electrical Safety First with a sample of 2025 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults
  • The most common items that are recalled include:
  1. Electrical chargers
  2. Adaptors, including those used for travel
  3. Extension and spare product leads
  4. Hairdryers, tongs and straighteners
  5. Small kitchen appliances like kettles, toasters and irons

[i] Department for Communities and Local Government, Fire Statistics 2011/12

[ii] 81% of people said they were afraid of house fires

[iii] 81% of people said they were afraid of being burnt

[iv] 75% of people said they were afraid of electric shocks

[v] 80% of people said they know a recalled item can cause a fire or electrocution

[vi] 46% did not register the last electrical item they bought

[vii] 89% of people said they would return an electrical item if it had been recalled

[viii] Information taken from Electrical Safety First report on Appliance Safety