The consumer body Which? has described 250 of the most popular fridges and freezers on sale in the UK as ‘potentially unsafe’, adding that they could be putting lives at risk. The organisation has demanded that retailers immediately stop selling the models it identified after an investigation showed that the backing material on almost half of all the fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers tested was made of an unsafe plastic that posed a fire risk.
Its list of the 250 ‘don’t buy’ models includes appliances made by many of the leading manufacturers, including AEG, Kenwood, Hotpoint, Hotpoint, Zanussi, Indesit, Whirlpool, Hoover, Bush and Ikea.
As stated by the organisation, “These Don’t Buys appliances account for 45 per cent of the fridge, freezer and fridge-freezers we (Consumer Association, UK) carry reviews for, suggesting the proportion of potentially unsafe appliances in shops is worryingly high. Never before have we issued our Don’t Buy warning on such a massive scale. Yet the manufacture and sale of these products remains completely legal, thanks to flawed current safety standards that won’t be replaced until 2019.
“Stop making and selling fire-risk fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers. We’re calling on manufacturers to make product safety a priority and immediately stop making fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers with plastic backing. Retailers should immediately stop selling these products to keep them out of people’s homes and ensure consumers aren’t unknowingly spending hundreds of pounds on potentially unsafe appliances.”