Hearth-risk fridges nonetheless on sale in UK, says Which? | Cash

A whole lot of doubtless harmful fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers with plastic backings are nonetheless on sale at UK retailers regardless of them being proven to pose a fireplace danger, a client group has stated.

Exams by Which? have discovered that the plastic backing used on some fridges and freezers might be extremely flammable and, within the occasion of a home fireplace, can speed up the unfold of flames. Which? is asking on retailers together with AO.Com, Argos and Currys PC World to take away such white items from sale as a matter of urgency.

Final 12 months it printed an inventory of “don’t purchase” fashions, which included some from producers together with AEG, Kenwood, Hotpoint, Smeg, Sweet, Hotpoint, Zanussi, Indesit, Whirlpool, Hoover, Bush and Ikea.

The London Hearth Brigade (LFB) and the charity Electrical Security First have additionally warned in regards to the risks of flammable plastic backing. {An electrical} fireplace knowledgeable acknowledged in a report for the Grenfell Tower inquiry – the place the blaze concerned a Whirlpool Hotpoint fridge-freezer – that plastic casing was flamable and will contribute to the unfold of a fireplace.

Which? investigated what number of such merchandise had been on sale throughout AO.com, Argos, Currys PC World and John Lewis – the 4 largest retailers for such a equipment.

“We’ve repeatedly requested producers and retailers to cease making and promoting these probably unsafe merchandise, which might put folks’s lives in danger,” stated Alex Neill, the managing director of Which? dwelling and product companies. “It’s a giant win for customers that some producers and retailers have acted, however some are nonetheless dragging their ft.

“Accountable retailers must put the security of their prospects first. They should take rapid motion to take away these merchandise from sale, quite than permitting merchandise to enter folks’s properties that would pose a fireplace danger for a few years to return.”

Which? believes the security assessments that merchandise should bear will not be match for objective. It has known as for a extra rigorous normal to be introducedand for home equipment to be made with a backing of non-flammable materials. However it doesn’t anticipate to see this come into power for a number of extra months.

Which? discovered that on 21 January AO.com’s web site displayed 173 plastic-backed fashions, Argos 137, Currys PC World 56 and John Lewis & Companions three.

All 4 retailers stated they now had fewer plastic-backed merchandise on their web sites than they did on 21 January. Among the retailers stated this was right down to the truth that merchandise listed on their very own web sites had been incorrectly listed as plastic once they had been truly metal-backed.

Nonetheless, even with up to date listings, it’s estimated there are nonetheless between 148 and 241 plastic-backed merchandise accessible, with the biggest quantity on sale at AO.

After being approached with the outcomes, AO dedicated to cease promoting the possibly unsafe fashions by July. Currys PC World and Argos didn’t decide to a date for elimination from sale.

A spokesperson for Argos stated: “As we now have made clear to Which?, we provide a small vary of plastic-backed traces and the overwhelming majority are metal-backed. A few of these had been incorrectly labelled as plastic and we’re updating our web site to ensure that is clear for purchasers.”

A John Lewis & Companions spokesperson stated: “Forward of the upcoming modifications to security requirements, we now have not offered any plastic-backed fridges since April [2018].”

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