London Fire Brigade has issued an urgent warning about the fire risk of certain fridge-freezers, following confirmation that a blaze last week in a London tower block was caused by a faulty appliance.
Beko fridge-freezers manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006 are at the centre of the safety warning, and it is thought as many as 500,000 could be in use. London Fire Brigade say there have been 20 fires in the capital alone involving the fridge freezers since 2008, which have seen one person die and 15 people injured.
Owners of the appliances are asked to contact Beko on 0800 009 4837. model .The same recall applies to a model badged LEC fridge freezer.
Last week’s fire, which was originally thought to have been caused by a lightning strike, damaged part of a flat on the 17th floor of a tower block in south London.
Over the last three years, fire investigators have been working to establish the link between a faulty defroster timer switch on the appliances and a number of house fires. The problem occurs when water gets into the defrost timer switch in the fridge freezer, which can lead to an electrical malfunction resulting in plastic components and other highly flammable insulation inside the appliance catching fire.
The fire service formally alerted Beko to the problem in June 2010, and the manufacturer has been trying to locate the products to remedy the fault.
“Any fire can be lethal, but the London Fire Brigade is particularly concerned about this because fires involving any sort of fridge-freezer develop rapidly and produce an enormous amount of toxic smoke Expert fire investigators have had to work for a long time to confidently establish these faulty fridge-freezers as the cause of a number of serious fires.
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