The UK Government has announced conclusions of a product safety investigation into the Hotpoint FF175B fridge-freezer (manufactured by Whirlpool from 2006-2009) identified by the police as being involved in the Grenfell Tower fire last year (see pinfa Newsletter n°81). This included examination of the product by independent experts, fire testing of the model and document and data analysis. The experts conclude that the product is conform to legal safety requirements and represents a “low” fire risk. The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor has thus concluded that no product recall or other corrective action is required. The study reports do show that the model had flammable insulation foam which was partly not protected around the compressor unit, which is indicated by fire brigades as a potential ignition cause, but this is considered standard for such equipment at the time, although more recently changes in design by some constructors aim to minimise such potential contact. Test photos show burning foam. The organisation Electrical Safety First considers that current legal requirements allow fridge-freezers to be sold with plastic backs which present a fire risk and states that it is working with industry to develop a voluntary mark to identify models made from “proven fire-resistant materials”.
“Hotpoint Fridge Freezer (FF175B): independent investigation. Findings of the investigation into the fridge freezer involved in the Grenfell Tower fire”, UK Government, 15th May 2018 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hotpoint-fridge-freezer-ff175b-independent-investigation
“Electrical Safety First responds to Government View” 17th May 2018 https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2018/05/electrical-safety-first-responds-to-government-view/