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Fire risk fridges: Standards are deficient, says Which?

From BBC - December 7, 2017

Householders are being warned that current safety standards for fridges and fridge-freezers may be "deficient", creating a potential fire risk.

Consumer group Which? says new, tighter standards due by 2019 should be brought in much faster.

The body responsible for those standards said it was working hard to introduce them as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, Which? says, the current tests used are insufficient and do not replicate a real house fire.

In more stringent testing it carried out itself, Which? found that fridges with plastic backs were highly flammable.

Two samples were subjected to an open flame and caught fire after 10 seconds.

Under this particular test, the samples should be able to withstand a flame for at least 30 seconds.

"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," said Alex Neill, managing director of Which? home and product services.

New standards

The British Standards Institution (BSI), which is responsible for standards, said it had already tightened up the rules on the way that fridges and freezers are tested.

However, it will be more than a year before those rules come into force.

"BSI has been a driving force in getting more stringent fire safety requirements included in any revision of the standard at both European and international level," said Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI .

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