The leading review and watchdog website Which? recently labelled 250 fridges that use a plastic backing should not be bought over fire hazard fears. The issue stems from the use of a plastic backing in the rear of the fridge covering up the flammable insulation that is in fridges.
A test conducted by Which? found that those appliances with a plastic backing were not able to prevent a flame from reaching the flammable insulation for more than just 30 seconds.
The appliances featuring a metal or laminate backing provided much longer protection for over 5 minutes. Which? has examined more than 500 of the most sold fridges and freezers currently on the market and found that the backing material on 45% features the unsafe plastic which poses a potential fire risk.
The watchdog is calling for all of the plastic-back fridges to be removed from sale. Some of the research showed that in some cases the plastic increased the spread of a fire. Current figures show that refrigeration appliances make up around 8% of domestic fires in the UK.
The current British Standard for safety in this area of the appliances involves putting a hot wire through a sample of the fridge or freezer backing and seeing if this catches fire. Which? applied more stringent testing to see what effect more real work scenarios would have on the backing material and in turn the flammable insulation inside.
Cheif Exectutive Peter Vicary-Smith of which said:
“If manufacturers and retailers fail to act and leave plastic-backed fridges, freezers or fridge-freezers on sale, the Office for Product Safety and Standards must step in and take action.”
For a full list of the current ‘Dont Buy’ fridges you can visit the post on which by clicking HERE