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Seasonal changes will see rise in electrical recalls

It’s been a while since we homed in on recalls of electrical appliances and lighting equipment in our blog series, but as the nights begin to draw in we know that many consumers will be making plans to add some extra glow to their homes in preparation for autumn/winter nights and traditional seasonal holidays.

Already this year, there have been 243 recall notifications submitted for electrical appliances (146) and lighting equipment/lighting chains (97).

Of the 146 electrical appliances notifications, 120 were cited as posing a serious risk and these products included kettles, lamps, ceiling fans, chargers, sterilisers and bulbs. Country of origin included China (87), Poland and Czechia had two each and Bulgaria, Ireland and Germany had one apiece, with the remainder unknown.

With regards to the lighting equipment/lighting chains category, 89 of the total were cited for serious risks and all but one (LED Lamp) were consumer products. Almost 90% (79) posed a risk of burns, electric shock and fire.

Major retailers in home appliances and DIY have reported exponential growth in recent months thought to be as a direct result of people investing in home improvements as they transition to working from home for the foreseeable future. And as demand grows, so too does supply and it is for this reason, coupled by the change in season, that recalls will rise in Europe as we move into autumn/winter.

The best way to illustrate the change is to look at data from previous quarters, so let’s take spring as an example - when the days get longer, reducing the need for artificial light in and around the home. In weeks 15-38 (spring/summer 2020) a total of 60 recalls were notified. If we compare these findings to autumn/winter 2019/2020, when people were still working as normal there were only 51 recalls in this category.

This is quite a strange find, especially as consumers would not normally be making such changes to their homes in the summer months. That said, we are living in strange times. And as many countries across Europe await to hear if they will enter another lockdown phase, we believe that citizens will want to bring ‘normality’ into their homes especially during seasonal holidays which means the demand for the likes of Halloween luminations and Christmas lights are highly likely to increase by some scale. This will undoubtedly have an impact on the recall data tables as more product tries to make it to the European market.

Manufacturers and those who operate in the supply chain must be on high alert and be sure that their products are 100% safety compliant with EU regulations. With hazards like fire, burns electric shock and chemical risks, there really is no margin for error.

Our advice is to perform an audit of your current suppliers, asking them to provide you with assurances around their own procurement models. Any supplier worth their salt will have this information to hand and should readily share it with you on request.

And if you are in receipt of merchandise but have reservations about its authenticity, know that all electrical products will have one or more safety certifications which feature on the labelling. If the certification is on the packaging, but not on the product itself, then you should absolutely question its authenticity and safety.

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