Product recalls. We have all heard of them, but have you ever been sent one? In many cases, product recalls can be a challenge due to the fact that many buyers are untraceable. Unregistered products, moving away from purchase addresses and even not acting on product recalls can soon become a head ache for manufacturers and retailers as they struggle to make contact with the buyers of their goods.


What type of things can be recalled?

Anything that is purchased can be subject to a product re-call. From a packet of cereal to a new car, they can all become subject to a re-call notice. The worrying thing is that unless you happen to spot a re-call notice in a supermarket or are good at keeping your address details up to date then you are likely to miss any recall notices that are issued that affect you. Yes it really could mean you are consuming dairy in your soya milk or your handbrake fails whilst parked on a hill!


However, in this article, I'm going to be concentrating on product re-calls for electrical products. As you know, dangerous electrical appliances and equipment can cause electrical injury or worse still death if used incorrectly. The purpose of a product recall is to alert you to a potentially dangerous fault on the equipment and it needs to be returned for exchange or free repair. If you do receive a produce re-call notice, it is important that you act on it. The worst thing you can do is to ignore it and carry on regardless......well actually there is something worse.....not getting a product re-call notice at all!


How to find out about product re calls

The average success rate of an electrical product recall in the UK is just 10-20%. It is quite literally 'shocking' to find that so many householders are compromising on their electrical safety in their homes, many without even realising.


Just last month Asda made two important product recalls on a kettle and toaster due to risk of electric shock from both products. Electric shocks can of course be deadly and as an electrician who is very passionate about electrical safety in the home I find that the method of electrical product re-calls very hit and miss.


To this end, the UK electrical safety charity, Electrical Safety First are hoping to find a solution to address this problem and are working with retailers and manufacturers to help consumers access and most importantly act upon product recall notices.


Whilst this is being put in place, Electrical Safety First have a great feature on their website that allows you to check electrical products that have been on product recall since 2007. It makes sense to check the electrical products you are using in your home, as everyone's safety is at stake where dangerous electrical products are at stake.


Beware of cheap products

However you can minimise your chances of encountering a dangerous product by taking care in what products you buy. A main example is the use of cheap phone chargers. I highly recommend that you only purchase only 'official' phone chargers and other accessories that are designed for your phone. Universal products or worse still products that are bought through dubious outlets can cause really expensive damage. You might think you have saved a few quid for now but in the longer run it will cost you dearly.


As an electrician in Coventry I have seen with my own eyes the problems that cheap chargers, leads and travel adapters can do. Not only can they cause damage to your equipment but in some cases they do not fit properly into electrical sockets causing overheating and fire. It can be costly to repair such damage making that cheap charger very expensive indeed.


There are potentially millions of product recall items still being used in UK homes today, so do take the time to check. If you have any concerns about the damage that may have been caused by a faulty or sub standard electrical appliance, please contact your local qualified and registered electrician.