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Appliance fire lawyer welcomes warning from Which? on flammable plastic backing

A lawyer who specialises in representing victims of white goods fires has welcomed a warning by consumer group Which? that manufacturers should stop using flammable plastic backing for fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers.

Fridge fire

21 September 2017

The consumer group has made the urgent warning to manufacturers in the hope that they will voluntarily cease production of all models with non-flame retardant plastic backing. They have also called on manufacturers to agree to higher safety standards which would ban the use of the potentially flammable materials in white goods.
 
In addition to the letter of warning written to manufacturers, Which? also confirmed that it is no longer recommending the purchase of any appliance models that use the non-flame retardant plastic backing and highlighting the models which use this material on its website. 
 
The London Fire Brigade has publicised a video showing the difference in the spread of a fire between appliances with plastic backing and metal backing.
  
Jill Paterson, who specialises in representing people affected by white goods fires, including the family of Santosh Benjamin who died in 2010 following a fire found to have been caused by a faulty fridge-freezer, said:
 
“We thoroughly welcome the action by Which? to urge manufacturers to stop using flammable materials on fridges and freezers and to remove appliances with the non-flame retardant backing from its recommendation lists. 
 
“This is the latest in a long line of calls for greater safety measures relating to household appliance fires. It is high time manufacturers put consumer safety first.
 
“The onus should not be on consumers to ensure that the products they bring into their homes are safe.
 
“The delay in taking action by the government and manufacturers means that the devastating consequences of fires caused by refrigeration appliances continue."

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