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Published on September 21st, 2017 | by The GC Team

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Which? calls for action on fire-risk cooling appliances

Which? today said it has stopped recommending almost 240 cooling products, dozens of which were previously Best Buys, as it called for manufacturers to reject inadequate current safety standards and to take immediate voluntary action to end the production of non-flame retardant plastic-backed fridges, freezers and fridge freezers.

The consumer body also appealed for the industry to accelerate the introduction of tougher safety standards on cooling appliances so that the use of potentially flammable backing material is no longer allowed, and is recommending that consumers should only buy fridges, freezers and fridge freezers with a flame retardant back.

Which? said it has 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.”

It added: “We are calling on the government to urgently set up a new national body to take responsibility for ensuring manufacturers keep households safe and get dangerous products out of people’s homes quickly, before there is further tragedy or loss of life.”

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.

“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.”

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