Winter brings safety warning over recalled products

Date: Jun 04, 2014

There are calls this month from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for consumers to return recalled winter products.

In recent years, a number of different winter products have been recalled, and as the weather begins to get cooler, consumers are being urged to check all their winter goods before use.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said some consumers could be surprised about the number of products that have been recalled.

"As the weather cools off, people are starting to look through their closets for last year's winter warmers but what they may not realise is that some items have been recalled due to safety hazards," she said.

"Of particular concern is the low return rate of recalled electric blankets. Over 400,000 unsafe electric blankets have been recalled since 2010, many due to the risk of fire hazards or electrocution, but only 10 per cent have been returned by consumers for refund or remedy."

This issue is widespread across all the major retailers in Australia, so it is vital that consumers log onto the recalls website to ensure their electric blanket is safe.

Product recalls are an ever-increasing trend in Australia. Data from the ACCC revealed earlier this year that there were 538 consumer level recalls in 2013. This is up from 480 in 2012 and 448 in 2011. On average, there are over 10 recalls per week.

Electric blankets are not the only product consumers should be checking. All heaters – oil, electric and gas – pose a significant fire and electric risk, and it would be wise to research whether or not your heater is on the recalled list.

"Over 41,000 potentially faulty heaters were recalled last year so check to make sure yours isn't one of them. Do not place heaters too close to furniture in your home, or place clothes on your heater," Ms Rickard added.

Product liability in NSW

Winter brings a whole host of different safety problems, but if you are injured by any product, regardless of whether it has been recalled or not, you could be eligible for compensation.

Injuries from products are more common than most people think so if you believe you have a case, contact a compensation lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances of success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.