Fridge and freezer safety advice for landlords from Which.co.uk
Consumer group Which? are calling on manufacturers to reject inadequate current safety standards and immediately stop making non-flame retardant plastic-backed fridges, freezers and fridge freezers.
Following a recent review of cold appliance safety, Which? have written to manufacturers this week urging them to stop using these backings, as they could create a fire risk in people’s homes due to their potential to accelerate the spread of fire.
Which? are calling on manufacturers to do the right thing by taking immediate voluntary action to end production of these appliances. They’re also asking the industry to accelerate the introduction of tougher safety standards on cold appliances, so that the use of potentially flammable backing material is no longer allowed.
Fridge and freezer safety advice for consumers from Which?
Due to these safety concerns, Which? no longer recommend that you buy a fridge, freezer or fridge freezer with a non-flame retardant plastic back.
They’ve taken this precautionary position in order to best protect consumers, after evidence from London Fire Brigade indicated that the risk of a fire spreading is greater with non-flame retardant plastic-backed cold appliances and following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
Not all cold appliances come with non-flame retardant plastic backs. To make it easier to see which do, Which? fridge freezer, fridge and freezer reviews now indicate what the backing material of each appliance is and whether it is non-flame retardant. In total they have stopped recommending almost 240 products, dozens of which were previously ‘Best Buys.’
What if I already own one of these appliances?
If you already own one of these models, Which? assures that refrigerator fires are rare. Their July 2015 research into government fire data found that only 7% of fires caused by faulty appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers. The concern is that the backing material allows an existing fire to spread – it isn’t the cause of fire itself.
Therefore, Which? aren’t recommending that you replace your current appliance. But when you do come to need a new fridge, freezer or fridge freezer, you should buy one with flame-retardant backing.
With this in mind, please have a look at Rent Safe UK’s Tenant Contents Insurance by clicking here.