Recall-Ready with Alexa & ESF

Recall-Ready with Alexa & ESF

Leading consumer protection charity, Electrical Safety First, has launched a new Alexa app, to help slash the number of electrical fires in UK homes. 

Using voice technology to easily access information on product recalls, consumers can effortlessly discover if they have a recalled electrical item – simply by giving Alexa the item’s brand name.

Currently, product recalls achieve a success rate of just 10-20%, leaving a host of potentially unsafe electricals items still in use and presenting a significant risk of fire. In fact, research by the Charity indicates almost 270 million unregistered electrical products are still in UK homes[i]. As only those consumers who register an item can be easily contacted in the case of a product recall, this means that there is a significant proportion of the population who won’t know if one of their appliances is a safety risk. Electrical Safety First’s new Alexa app aims to boost those recall rates, preventing electrical fires caused by faulty devices.

“Electricity is responsible for over half of all UK domestic fires”, explains Emma Drackford, Director of Communications for Electrical Safety First. “In 2017, almost 5,000 fires[ii] were caused by faulty electrical appliances and leads, including recalled items – the equivalent of 13 fires per day across the UK[iii].

“We are committed to using every advantage provided by new technology to reduce this risk. We hope that by launching the Alexa app, people will use it to make ad-hoc checks while doing chores around the house, without having to open a website. It’s all about removing barriers and giving our audience the tools they need to use their electrical products more safely.”

Electrical Safety First worked with Manchester-based, digital agency Absurd, to develop and build the app.

[i] Consumer research commissioned by Electrical Safety First and conducted by Censuswide surveying 5,000 people in the UK nationally representative of the population, found that respondents had an average of 9.86 unregistered electrical products in their home out of an average of 15.04 in total. This figure multiplied by the number of households in the UK according to ONS (27.2 million as of 2017) results in 267,648,000.

[ii] 4,732 accidental domestic fires caused by faulty appliances and leads where the source of ignition was electric.
England: Figures from financial year 2016/17. Accessible at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#incident-level-datasets. Wales: StatsWales statistics on incidents attended by Fire and Rescue Services. Figures from financial year 2016/17. Accessible at:https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Community-Safety-and-Social-Inclusion/Community-Safety/Fire-Incidents/Fires-and-False-Alarms/accidentalprimaryfires-by-cause-sourceignition Scotland: Freedom of Information request sent to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, June 2016.

[iii] 4,732 fires is the equivalent of 12.96 fires per day.

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