Refrigerators

Fridges have to run 24 hours a day so it’s important to look after them to prevent a fire risk.

Refrigerator Safety

Safety First

  • When buying a new refrigerator, always buy from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always register a new refrigerator with the manufacturer. That way you can be contacted easily if a safety recall is required. While the chances of a faulty product causing serious damage are small, the risk is still there and returning a faulty product or ordering its repair is very easy to do. To register all your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
  • Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
  • Check that your refrigerator has a UK plug, but if it doesn’t, do not use a UK travel adaptor, but rather have the retailer fit the refrigerator with a UK plug.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing, circuit-breakers tripping or if it feels too hot to touch.
  • Ensure your home is fully protected by an RCD or residual current device, which can be found in your fuse box (also known as a consumer unit).  An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.
  • If you don’t have RCD protection on your sockets, consider using an RCD plug, which can prevent serious appliance faults that pose threats to you and your property.
  • Sometimes, appliance fires are caused by something beyond your control. Smoke alarms are essential in keeping you safe in the event of a fire. There should be a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor and fit enough alarms to cover all areas where a fire could start, and make sure they are tested regularly.
  • If a fire does start, don't try to fight the fire. Get out and call 999 immediately.

Safe use

  • Always ensure that the area you are placing the refrigerator is free of paper or other flammable materials, and make sure there is enough room behind the refrigerator for air to circulate freely.
  • Don’t connect a fridge to the electricity supply until all packaging has been removed.
  • Never block the interior or exterior ventilation openings of the refrigerator.
  • Make sure you don’t trap the mains cable beneath the fridge when putting it in position.
  • Don’t use the fridge outdoors or anywhere it is likely to come into contact with the elements.
  • Don’t place a refrigerator near cookers, radiators, or in direct sunlight, as this will result in it having to work harder to maintain the required internal temperature.
  • Defrost your fridge at least once a year to ensure these appliances continue to work properly. Clean behind your fridge and freezer regularly to keep lint and dust from building up.  Do not use a heater to defrost the inside of the fridge.