Online Marketplaces are an International Product Safety Challenge
How do you know a DIY Electrical repair is safe?
We’re pleased to see our article on Safety in Right to Repair was published in the Electrical Times recently. Safety is important with all Electrical Repairs, so how can consumers recognise it’s been repaired by an independent Competent Person. Basically, you can’t and this is something we’re trying to address. There are probably many good repairers out there and we’ve met some, so nobody is tarnishing everyone with the same brush. But consumers also have a right. A Right To Know who has repaired it, and were they independently assessed for their product knowledge and understanding of Ohms Law. We recognise GAS Safe for Gas Appliance Repairs, and so it should be fairly easy for consumers to understand EEESafe for Electrical Appliance Repairs.
We possess 50 + years in White Goods Training over 4000 (Pre EEESafe) technicians. So we hope you’ll appreciate in the article we raise some areas of concern that consumers need to consider when you purchase an electrical appliance locally or online. It’s entirely possible accidents and fires could occur due to an incorrect repair or use of components that may be of sub-standard, or counterfeit, or indeed whether you are dealing with DIY or Registered Repairer operating to a Safety Standard, higher than that required by UK or EU Law.
This industry has skills that should be recognised and those professionals need recognition for the skills they have, but also to reassure consumers in recognising an independently assessed standard.
All EEESafe Registrants, after the new soft launch, are required to check for Product Recalls during a repair, and we will be able to identify that, as well as prevent Recalls being sold online, through our Community Platform. A free alerts service for existing Registered Appliances with us, will also be available.
Items are not necessarily safe just because a Council is involved in a project, a Repair Cafe Volunteer has said it or even if has been PAT Tested. Products when first placed on the market, have a Safety Conformance Certificate, therefore any change to parts (cosmetic or electrical) could mean it’s no longer safe to use. We’ve already highlighted why it’s important to recognise competence in our How Do We Know They Know article but as we support use of the Manufacturers actual spares (including recycled) we feel it’s important to keep the product as it was originally. It’s vital to support Manufacturers in this area as well, to protect their IP and procure support for access to technical information, where they can recognise independent repairers and trace product use to end of life, if we are going to build a secure and safe circular economy.
We hope you find this article insightful. We gathered responses in a short consumer survey recently, relating to product safety issues. 90% of those surveyed, said they had safety concerns on buying used items. 89% said they would use a Registered/Certified Repairer with independently assess competence, and approximately the same figure, would prefer to see the repair history. Our data was submitted to the UK Gov Consultation on Product Safety and Waste Prevention.