RSSMix.com Mix ID 8249793:Is your fridge a fire risk? Watchdog warns nearly HALF of homes may have potentially deadly appliance on BenGummer.net
NEARLY half of fridges and freezers on sale could cause your home to burn down, a watchdog has warned.
Which? warned appliances from makes including John Lewis, Whirlpool and Smeg have plastic backs, which burn easily and spread fires.
The consumer group is calling on manufactures to stop producing non flame retardant plastic-backed fridges, freezer and fridge freezers.
Today it has released the details of 230 models that it has concerns about.
Although, manufactures insist that all their appliances adhere to current safety rules the watchdog has stopped recommending those with non-flame retardant plastic-backs.
Recent tests have shown that those made of plastic have the potential to accelerate the spread of fire.
The watchdog found that almost half of the 500 fridges, freezers and fridge freezers it reviewed had fire risk backs, or were unconfirmed by manufactures.
Which? also slammed the current UK safety rules on cold appliances as “deficient” and “inadequate” because they allow makers to use non-flame retardant material.
It comes three months after a fire sparked by a Hotpoint fridge freezer caused a deadly blaze at Grenfell tower killing 80 people.
How a plastic back fridge ignites much faster than a metal backed
It is not known if the fridge had a plastic back but fire services have been calling for a change to the way they are made for several years.
Earlier this year, The London Fire Brigade revealed how plastic-backed fridge can ignite in just 66 seconds.
It compared this to a metal-backed fridge which burned for around 20 minutes before it extinguished by itself.
A Fire Brigade source said: “It means millions of families could have fire risk fridges in homes. You have to consider that homes will also have bought other similar fire risk appliances in recent years but are no longer on sale – so would not have been picked up by Which?”
The consumer group said it was not calling for a full recall since refrigerator fires are rare.
How to check if you have a fire risk appliance
CONSUMER group Which? has removed dozens of refrigerator from its best buy. It no longer recommends those with plastic-backs to customers.
Which? reviewed over 500 fridges, freezer and fridge-freezers to see whether or not they have plastic-backs. It also asked whether those with plastic backs were fire retardant.
To check you need to visit the Which? website and search for your appliance.
You can filter by model on the left-hand side.
It found in 2015 research only 7 per cent of fires caused by faulty appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers.
Alex Neill, managing director of Which? home and product services, said: “People who already have one of these models in their homes shouldn’t be alarmed, but our advice is that no-one should purchase one from new.
Around 80 people lost their lives when a fridge caught fire in Greenfell tower block”Manufacturers must immediately stop making fridges, freezers and fridge freezers to a standard that they know is clearly deficient and inadequate, and could potentially be putting people’s lives at risk.
“This once again shows that the UK’s product safety regime is simply not fit-for-purpose and the Government can no longer continue to allow it to fail.”
Some makers say their plastic backs have been sprayed a fire retardant chemical.
The Sun revealed last month how at least 9,574 fires in three years were blamed on appliances such as washing machines, dryers and fridge-freezers.
Only survivors from 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower claim at least 35 people were told to climb to the top and wait for helicopter rescue – and they ALL died
Mike Giddings, managing director of Smeg UK, reassured customers that its models, including refrigeration products confirm to all safety requirements and that it often goes beyond the minimum requirements set out.
He added: “At this time we continue to work within these strict parameters and have no concerns in relation to any of Smeg’s products currently available in the worldwide market”.
A spokesperson from John Lewis said: “At John Lewis we take product safety and quality very seriously and all of our products are rigorously tested to ensure that they comply with the relevant EU/UK requirements.
“Our own brand fridge freezers are manufactured in line with current industry standards.”
The Sun Online contacted Whirlpool for a comment.
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