Home technology and electricity
The consumer or end user bears the responsibility of the safe and purposeful use of household appliances and equipment, but it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer or distributor to provide sufficient instructions with the product. Consumers must pay special attention to the operating and installation instructions, warning labels, maintenance and taking out of service of the appliance or equipment.
Taking equipment into use
Equipment intended for consumer use has often been manufactured to such a degree of operational readiness that it can be taken into use simply, for example, by plugging it in or putting the batteries in place.
However, if taking electrical equipment into use requires installation, it may only be performed by a professional electrician. Electrical equipment that must be installed by a professional include fixed-installation lighting fixtures, dimmers designed to replace light switches, kitchen stoves and sauna stoves.
Clear operating instructions providing the essential information for the safe use of the equipment must be delivered with the product in Finnish and Swedish. Additionally, the required identification and safety labels must be affixed on the equipment. The labelling requirements for equipment are based on applicable legislation and standards.
Any limitations on the place of operation, such as whether it is safe to use the equipment outdoors or in humid spaces, must be mentioned in the operating instructions. The cold Finnish winter places challenges and limitations on the safe use of the equipment, and it may also have an adverse effect on the service life of the equipment. Using the equipment in accordance with the operating instructions ensures safety and long service life for the equipment.
Consumer electrical equipment typically require quite little maintenance. Equipment is often designed in such a manner that cleaning constitutes sufficient maintenance. If the equipment’s guarantee requires following a maintenance programme, this must be clearly indicated in the operating instructions.
The users of gas appliances or oil-heating equipment are only allowed to perform the kind of maintenance measures on their equipment that have been specified in the operating and maintenance instructions. Replacing a part or a component is also regarded as maintenance, unless the replacement results in a need to make adjustments on the equipment.
Removal from use
The manufacturer's instructions should be followed when taking equipment out of service.
Household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be taken to a designated collection point free of charge. Furthermore, large stores are obliged to organise collection of small electrical appliances taken out of service. Electrical equipment to be taken to designated collection points can be recognized by the WEEE crossed-out wheeled bin symbol.
Used batteries and small accumulators can be returned to collection bins at stores selling them or to designated collection points. Stores have collection bins where households can return:
- batteries (e.g. alkaline batteries)
- button batteries
- small accumulators (e.g. batteries from mobile phones, computers and drilling machines).
It is forbidden to take large lithium batteries of electric vehicles, such as bicycles or balance boards, to the collection bins in stores. Such batteries can be returned to the place where the product in question was bought.
Things to observe when returning batteries or small accumulators:
- tape the positive and negative ends of the batteries or accumulators
- put leaking batteries or accumulators in a plastic bag (with both ends taped)
- recycle batteries or accumulators taken out of service – do not store them at your home.