REVIEW: ERT TURNING POINT LIVE! 2021 If you’re considering selling kitchens…

Following on from the previous session all about retailers selling fully-fitted kitchens, Martyn Allen used his presentation to talk about some of the safety issues to be aware of and why there’s a crucial need for competent installation and product registration…


centre with large and high powered appliances installed in this room – and therefore it’s the room with the most electrical-related fires, with a mix of potentially faulty products, faulty installations and consumers not using products correctly. Retailers can help reduce fires in the kitchen – they’re already selling


high quality main brand appliances, but what’s hidden behind walls and under floors?... Wires and accessories that generally get forgotten about during installation. In addition, as gas becomes less attractive to consumers, and sometimes

not even permitted in new homes, switching over to electric hobs and ovens brings its own risks. It is essential this is done by a competent, qualified and ideally registered electrician. Sometimes work can be done by unqualified electricians and that work

is often substandard and unsafe, and it can cost loads of money to put right if things go wrong. This dents the customer experience as well as the reputation of the retailer and the manufacturers. For example, if new circuits or new fuse boxes are installed during a

kitchen installation, that needs to be legally notified in relation to building regulations before work actually starts. I’ve seen lots of cases with people’s new kitchens they think the fitter or builder has everything in hand, only to find out later they’ve used an unregistered person and therefore no certification arrives and they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The responsibility for notifying serious electrical work to local authorities

actually sits with the householder, unless they employ a registered electrician who is authorised to self-certify their work. Always use or make sure kitchen fitters or builders that you work with

use registered electricians for all electrical work. It could save a lot of pain in the future and your customers will thank you for it.

elling kitchens is a growth area at the moment – clearly consumers’ budgets that are not being spent on holidays and trips this year are being spent on home improvements. So here are some key points if you’re considering moving into this area. The kitchen is the hub of the home – and also the largest load

Other considerations

• There needs to be enough sockets and switches to supply the appliances in a new kitchen. Extension leads are not always safe.

• The layout of the kitchen needs careful thought, such as around metering. You don’t want to box in gas or electric meters so they can’t be read or replaced.

• Fuse boxes are a common upgrade in new kitchens, and standards around these have moved on, so make sure you know.

• If you extend into lighting there are even more things to consider. Such as fancy downlighters – these are great and they look nice but they must be fire rated, so it’s essential that professionals are involved in the installation.

• Finally, kitchen products themselves all come with instructions and important safety information, but all too often these don’t get referred to. For example, allowing enough space for ventilation and cooling around appliances, and not placing a fridge freezer next to an oven. All this needs to be taken into account when a retailer is designing a kitchen.

Product recalls

ESF has been campaigning for many years for improvements to the product recall system. The biggest issue with recalls being ineffective is manufacturers don’t often know where their products are located. Product registrations are not very high at all; only one in three products

get registered at best, and it’s arguably worse for integrated appliances. Consumers think the registration process is too complicated or they don’t understand the purpose. As there are more integrated appliances in kitchens these days, and they

One of the new kitchen displays at Borshch Electric near Birmingham

generally remain in place for a long time, ESF is suggesting that appliances should be registered as part of the kitchen installation process, or at least the details captured and provided to the customer. It is much easier for manufacturers to contact the person in that property directly if ever there was an issue.

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