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20th April 2018
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London Fire Brigade's latest campaign is going to impact quite heavily on this industry's appliance manufacturers... Its 'Don't turn your back on fridge fire risk' and 'Total Recalls' messages have been picked up by Which? - something that's likely to lead to demands from buyers in store and online, that manufacturers comply with LBF's recommendations.
Which? has this week added its voice to the LBF's campaign by asking manufacturers to stop making non-flame retardant plastic-backed fridges and freezers. The publication has written to manufacturers to urge them to stop using non-flame retardant plastic backing on fridges, freezers and fridge freezers, which could create a fire risk in people's homes due to their potential to accelerate the spread of fire.
In response to the announcement by Which? that it is getting behind the campaign, LFB's assistant commissioner for Fire Safety Dan Daly said: "We have been calling for fridges and freezers to be properly covered with fire retardant backing for a number of years and so we are pleased Which? has added weight to our campaign. "The entire back of fridges and freezers must be properly covered in fire resistant material to limit the spread of fire but the current manufacturing standards still allows for holes in the backing for cables or components which would leave the highly flammable insulation inside exposed.
"Partially covering the back of a fridge is like having a fire door with a hole in it that would allow fire, heat and smoke to pass through. "Nearly one fire a day in London involves white goods and June's tragic fire at Grenfell Tower started in a fridge freezer. Between 2010 and 2016 there have been nine fire deaths and 298 injuries as a result of fires involving white goods in London."
The Brigade has made a series of urgent calls for action to make white goods safer as part of its Total Recalls campaign. I'm aware that many manufacturers now include fire resistant backing as a matter of course, but in light of the assistant commissioner's warnings about cable holes being an issue, I'm wondering how much extra work is going to be involved in producing something that's completely safe without creating other problems with regard to cable management and extra bulk. Over to you...
22nd September 2017