This is the message from millennium bug buster Action 2000, which today launched its domestic campaign ‘home check!'. The initiative is designed to help households cut through the hype, work out which home appliances are affected by the millennium bug and whether or not household insurance policies will cover the damage.
The government sponsored Action 2000, with support from high street retailers, manufacturers, domestic appliance suppliers and trade and consumer associations, has blacklisted devices that may be affected by the millennium bug. PCs, videos, burglar alarms, fax machines and time and date-dependent answer machines, digital cameras and camcorders are all likely to be affected and need testing. Fridges, freezers, ovens, washing machines, kettle, irons, central heating, vacuum cleaners, phones and air conditioning systems are likely to be unaffected by the bug.
Don Cruickshank, chairman of Action 2000, said that "inaccurate speculation" about the bug wreaking havoc in the home was rife. He warned that Year 2000-readiness in business was a more pressing concern.
But Cruickshank's team warned that Year 2000 compliancy for a ‘safe' device, may vary from one manufacturer to another. A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers (ABI) warned that the public should understand the limitations of their insurance policies and extended warranties. "If a product malfunctions as result of the bug, it will not be covered. But, consequential occurrences will be covered such as, flood damage due to central heating failure and pipes bursting or theft as a result of a burglar alarm malfunctioning due to the bug."
The ABI added that medical insurers had no plans to add Year 2000 exclusions to their cover. For extended warranties, policy providers had not added Year 2000-related ‘won't pay' clauses, except for PCs. However, the ABI urged households the check warranties carefully.
25 million free booklets will be inserted into 8 national news papers next week in the first phase in the campaign. The booklet will also be stocked in High street retailers from the end of the month.