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Consumer awareness key to recall success

Electrical Safety First

2 min read Partner content

Consumers underestimating risks posed by recalled products is a significant factor in low recall rates for electrical products –– despite 4 million household appliances being recalled by manufacturers in the past 4 years - according to new research just announced by the charity Electrical Safety First.

Since 2011, 288 different electrical products have been recalled, including seven types of fridges, four washing machines and seven hairdryers. Yet typically, only 10% to 20% of recalled products are ever returned or repaired.

Electrical Safety First’s research was announced at the recent high-profile Product Safety Conference hosted by the Charity. The investigation found that many people associated recalls with ‘annoying faults’, rather than safety, with 2 million adults admitting to knowingly ignoring a recall notice – despite reported faults including risk of fire or electric shock.

“Our research discovered that 77% of people would be more likely to respond if they understood the potential dangers from a recalled product”, explained Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First.

“There is also an issue with attitudes to the type of product recalled. Research showed that people were more likely to act if the recall was of a large, rather than a small, product. Yet we found that the electrical items most reported as faulty or dangerous are smaller ones, such as chargers, hairdryers, toasters and kettles. We also found that concerns regarding how personal information could be used are a major barrier to people registering their new products. The majority - 61% of those surveyed - said they would be more likely to register if they knew their information would not be used for marketing purposes.”

In addition to its own high profile consumer campaigns, Electrical Safety First is working with manufacturers to help them engage the public more effectively in recalls.

“Our Product Safety Conference is designed to create a forum for manufacturers, retailers and other key stakeholders, including consumer protection organisations and government, to establish ways of improving product safety and consumer protection”, adds Phil. “But we are also calling on consumers to register their products and ‘opt out’ of receiving marketing information, if this concerns them.”

To download a copy of the report, please visit: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/mediafile/100205681/Product-Recall-Report-2014.pdf

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