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    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 14th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    • 49Posts
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    torncurtain
    home electronics safe vs unsafe?
    • #1
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:00 PM
    home electronics safe vs unsafe? 14th Apr 18 at 6:00 PM
    Hey All,

    I hope I'm posting in the right sub-forum, feel free to tell me I'm not!

    My questions are in light of a realisation I had, specifically due to the number of fridge, washer, home appliance recalls and warnings coming out as of late. It's my understanding that they've been produced with faults (unintentional, I'm sure) or they haven't passed tests (?) which means they can potentially cause fire or already have. I became slightly concerned when I was looking to purchase a home appliance as a gift, I realised I wasn't certain what I should be looking for, for safety reason.

    Does anyone know if home electronics should have specific certification, markings, labels that go with them? If so, are there categories? Or are there things consumers should look out for, as warnings that something isn't quite right?

    It would seem there are many "legit" companies peddling faulty items, I would think there's greater concern if a consumer is maybe buying items second-hand off ebay or first-hand from Amazon or Alibaba. What should consumers be asking for, for verification that the item is safe?

    Of course, if big name companies are producing inferior or dangerous products it's likely the smaller ones are too -- but I thought I would ask, and see if maybe there's a simple answer to calm my concerns. I can't be the only one wondering this and I don't think anyone wants to welcome danger into their home!

    I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 14th Apr 18, 6:13 PM
    • 8,685 Posts
    • 8,601 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:13 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:13 PM
    I am pretty sure that all the products from the major manufacturers will conform to all the relevant standards.

    So even if you had a list of those standards, and ticked off potential purchases against that list, it is unlikely that you would be able to pick a product that was guaranteed not to fail.

    You said it yourself - many inherently faulty goods are unintentionally so. And in the majority of cases will have met the appropriate standards.

    There's a massive thread on here somewhere about the Hotpoint/Whirlpool Dryer fiasco. As far as I know, all the affected products met all the appropriate standards. I am sure that if that wasn't the case we would've seen prosecutions before now.
    .
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Apr 18, 6:15 PM
    • 12,641 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:15 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:15 PM
    There is never any electrical appliance that can be guaranteed as safe. All of them carry a risk of fire no matter what safeguards are in place to make it a remote risk.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 14th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    • 49 Posts
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    torncurtain
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    Agreed KeithP! I'll have a look-see to find the thread you're referring to, thanks. It's seems a very big mess. Obviously it's good that it's being looked at now, terrible that it's too late for so many others.

    In my specific case the item I would like to purchase as a gift is an at-home infrared sauna (they look hilarious but who am I to argue?!), I don't want a fire starting at my dear Mum's flat because someone didn't even bother going through the appropriate standards though. This is why I thought I should ask.
    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 14th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • 49 Posts
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    torncurtain
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:24 PM
    Huh, you know what unholyangel...I'd never looked at it this way. I suppose I'd always naively thought that as long as an item is used appropriately, safely and all your household wiring is done well, you'd be safe. But of course, you're right. Things can go wrong, for reasons we often can't predict.
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 14th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    • 3,735 Posts
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    LilElvis
    • #6
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Apr 18, 6:26 PM
    I don't know why you would lump Amazon in with eBay and Alibaba. Though some of the marketplace sellers are based overseas they typically don't sell big-name, branded electricals. I've bought numerous electrical items directly from Amazon - the self same, but cheaper, than Currys, JL, Argos etc. TVs, irons, coffee machines, bread maker, radio, pressure washer, numerous lithium-ion garden tools - Samsung, Bosch, Panasonic, Pure, Karcher, more Bosch.
    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 14th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
    • 49 Posts
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    torncurtain
    • #7
    • 14th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Apr 18, 7:47 PM
    Oh gosh, yes of course. Obviously Alibaba isn't going to sell big names and not all online sites are the same, for many reasons! I sorta lumped everything together in relation to buying online and electronics. But re Amazon specifically, because you can buy used electronics on Amazon. Which is why I was asking if there's something consumers should look out for. For example, if a used item has passed a safety standard that still qualifies it as safe. But as others have pointed out, even unused big names can have faults, so surely used ones could too.


    I've found some great deals on ebay, unused, in the cases I'm thinking of they were cheaper than Amazon too. I think it depends sometimes. I've also purchased some basic electronics, like motion sensor lights, torches from amazon and found they didn't work at all. It could have been down to manufacturing, it could have been down to being dropped one too many times on it's way to me. I haven't a clue. But your lithium-ion garden tools sound cool!
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 14th Apr 18, 8:49 PM
    • 3,241 Posts
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    Ectophile
    • #8
    • 14th Apr 18, 8:49 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Apr 18, 8:49 PM
    About the only marking that's required on all electricals in the EU is the "CE" mark. But enforcement of that is so lax that it's largely meaningless.

    In most cases, a manufacturer or importer can stick that mark on if they think it meets all relevant European standards.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 14th Apr 18, 9:22 PM
    • 49 Posts
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    torncurtain
    • #9
    • 14th Apr 18, 9:22 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Apr 18, 9:22 PM
    You're absolutely right Ectophile, this also hadn't occurred to me. This is a good point.

    Well, I've learned a lot from everyone's response. I think I'm less wary now than I was before, but also aware that anything could happen!

    Thanks everyone.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 14th Apr 18, 9:48 PM
    • 8,685 Posts
    • 8,601 Thanks
    KeithP
    Now the 'CE' mark has been mentioned, have a look at this:

    .
    • waamo
    • By waamo 14th Apr 18, 10:23 PM
    • 3,904 Posts
    • 5,098 Thanks
    waamo
    Get rid of all electrical items. You can't be too careful.
    This space for hire.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 15th Apr 18, 7:38 AM
    • 2,861 Posts
    • 3,690 Thanks
    unforeseen
    You need to get rid of the gas supply to the house as well. Have you seen the effect of an explosion due to a gas leak has on a house? Why take the risk?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 15th Apr 18, 3:45 PM
    • 10,905 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    Please don't advise the OP to try to avoid all risks by staying in bed all day.

    Almost 60 yrs ago I got up and went downstairs for breakfast. Just as parents and I were sitting down, there was a horrendous noise from upstairs. We all rushed upstairs and there all over my bed was the bedroom ceiling!
    • torncurtain
    • By torncurtain 15th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • 49 Posts
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    torncurtain
    Ha! Ok folks I got it, I shall avoid everything, at all costs! Especially beds, ceiling fans, anything with a current or without, you never can be too careful as waamo pointed out! I'll avoid oxygen too, it's so darn polluted these days!

    Can we all get back to laughing with me, not at me now?

    KeithP I honestly thought that video was going to lead me down a Brass Eye path, something like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbq3kc29Tmg
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