London Fire Brigade

Change the way fridges and freezers are constructed

We want the way fridges and freezers are produced to change so that they are safer even if there is a fire.

The polyurethane insulation used in most refrigeration appliances is highly flammable and when it burns it creates dangerous gases and thick toxic smoke. We want this to stop.

What needs to change?

We want to see the insulation material protected from the components in the appliance, which could cause a fire.

We are calling for a new standard, which would mean that fridge and freezer compressor compartments and the entire back panel would have to have a suitable level of flame retardance, such as being able to withstand catching fire.

Isn't this the law already?

There is currently no legal requirement or industry standard that outlines this insulation material must be isolated or protected from fire.

A significant number of fires which start in fridges and freezers start in components called capacitors. When capacitors are used in fridges and freezers it should be done in a way that prevents them starting fires, even if they do fail.