Electrical Safety Council issues advice on fridge freezers

27 September 2011

Guidance on Fridge Freezers

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is urging people to check the safety of their fridge freezers, following a devastating fire in North London which took the lives of a mother and her five children.

Initial investigations suggest that the fire was started by a fridge freezer, which was located in the hallway of the house in Neasden. According to government figures [1] , there are more than 20 thousand electrical fires in UK homes each year – the majority of them caused by electrical appliances.

“We want to express our deepest sympathy to the family”, says Martyn Allen, Head of Technical Development at the ESC. “And we want to ensure that people are aware of electrical safety issues, to help prevent another tragedy of this nature. The simple and straightforward ‘check-list’ for fridge freezers, which we have put together, can be undertaken quickly and easily and could save your life.”

The ESC has issued the following advice to people owning a fridge freezer.

•    Always ensure that the area you are placing the appliance is free of paper or other flammable materials.

•    Make sure there is enough room behind the appliance for air to circulate freely.

•    Don’t connect a fridge freezer to the electricity supply until all packaging has been removed.

•    Never block the interior or exterior ventilation openings of the fridge freezer.

•    Make sure you don’t trap the mains cable beneath the fridge freezer when putting it in position.

•    Don’t use the fridge freezer outdoors or anywhere it is likely to come into contact with the elements.

•    Don’t place a fridge freezer near cookers, radiators, or in direct sunlight, as this will result in it having to work harder to maintain the required internal temperature.

•    Don’t allow children to play with, near, or inside a fridge freezer.

•    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.

•    Ensure you have working smoke detectors in your home.

For more information on electrical safety, please visit: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk


[1] Data derived from CLG Fire Statistics, 2007.


For more information please contact Ben Stokes on 020 3463 5129 or at ben.stokes@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk