BEKO frost free fridge freezers safety warning
London Fire Brigade is urging people to check if they own one of the models of BEKO frost free fridge freezers which are subject to a safety warning.
For more information visit the the product recall section of the TSI website. Press release issued by London Fire Brigade.
'BERMONDSEY ‘LIGHTNING’ FIRE CAUSED BY POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS FRIDGE FREEZER – UP TO 500,000 PRODUCTS AFFECTED
A week after a tower block caught fire in what was widely believed to be a blaze caused by a lightning strike, fire investigators have discovered that the fire was actually caused by a faulty BEKO fridge freezer that is at the centre of a product safety warning.
The London Fire Brigade believes the incident serves as an urgent warning of the potentially serious danger of a failure in the appliances that has been flagged up by the company as a cause for concern. It is believed there could be as many as 500,000 of the potentially faulty fridge freezers in homes and businesses across the country.
Fire chiefs are urging people to check if they own the particular models of BEKO fridge freezer which were manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006. Click here for a full list. There are believed to have been 20 fires in the capital alone involving the fridge freezers since 2008. These fires have seen 15 people injured and one person die.
People who own any of the appliances should contact BEKO by calling their free phone number on 0800 009 4837 between 8.00am and 10.00pm Monday to Sunday.
Over the last three years the London Fire Brigade’s fire investigation team has been working to establish the link between a faulty defroster timer switch on the appliances and a number of house fires the Brigade has attended. 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 Brigade formally alerted BEKO to the problem in June 2010 and following meetings between BEKO and fire investigators, the manufacturer has now begun trying to locate the products so that the fault can be corrected. However, the Brigade believes more needs to be done to alert people to the potential danger.
London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation, Steve Turek, said:
'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. Having established this link, we have worked closely with BEKO to ensure the public is kept safe. However, the Brigade urges everyone who has a BEKO fridge freezer to check it is not one of those highlighted by the company as potentially faulty. I would also urge everyone to make sure they have a working smoke alarm in their house.'
Notes to editors:
The same recall applies to a model badged LEC fridge freezer.
Fire safety advice:
- If you have a fire call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.
- Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your home knows how to escape if there is a fire.
- Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home and check them regularly to make sure they work.
- Take care when cooking as a large percentage of fires start in the kitchen. Never leave cooking unattended.'
Note from TSI:
If you experience problems with the Beko number, please contact Consumer Direct and NOT the Trading Standards Institute.
Consumer Direct - 08454 04 05 06