Lancashire response to Which? plastic back fridge research

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Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) is urging residents to be vigilant whilst taking simple safety precautions in regards to the Which? report into plastic back fridge freezers. Which? released a report on Thursday 5 April naming 250 brands of fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers as potential fire risk items. It is important that people are aware of the risks of plastic back fridge freezers and there are some simple steps you can take to help keep you safe. Going forward, before buying a new fridge or freezer, you should check to see what the back is made of and avoid buying one that is plastic backed.


Nationwide less than 8% of fire causes have been from fridge-freezer appliances in the last five years. Steve Morgan, Head of Service Delivery said; “London Fire Brigade and Which? carry out vital and incredibly detailed research that is paramount to keeping ahead of changing safety regulations. Whilst the most recent research into plastic backs on fridge-freezers is not immediate cause for concern in households it is important to carry out some basic fire prevention and fire safety procedures in day to day life.”


LFRS advise following these simply safety precautions that can be applied to all white good appliances, not just fridge-freezers:

  • Ensure the appliance is plugged into a single three-pin plug and not an extension lead
  • Ensure there is enough ventilation around the back of the product and items are not left on top
  • Register your appliance with the manufacturer
  • Heed any safety recall notifications
  • If you suspect a fault or your white good makes an unusual noise stop using straight away, remove the appliance from the socket and contact the manufacturer or an approved electrician
  • Ensure you and your family have a fire escape route planned in case of emergency and children know the first rules of a fire, ‘Get out, stay out and call 999.’


It is also advisable to follow safety procedures as part of your bedtime routine. These would include:

  • Closing doors between rooms to stop a fire spreading in the event of a fire
  • Do not use white good appliances like dryers when you go to bed
  • If possible switch the appliance off at the plug
  • Regularly check your smoke alarms are working


Steve continued; “Anything with a heating element is always going to have the potential for fire. They have to be maintained and if they’re no longer serviceable, they need to be removed. Don’t take risks. Finally, we recommend that all residents have a working smoke alarm fitted in their home. Whilst smoke alarms can’t prevent fires, they do give an early warning to people in the house and those extra few minutes can be the difference between life and death.”


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