Beko fridge freezer fire risk: Q&A
Find out more about the Beko fridge freezer alert. We revealed what happened, which models are affected, plus what you need to know if you own an affected Beko fridge freezer.
Beko fridge freezer fire alert
In July 2011, the London Fire Brigade issued an urgent warning that certain Beko fridge freezer models could be a fire risk. Beko went on to issue a recall of the affected fridge freezers.
The fault may affect up to 500,000 Beko fridge freezers manufactured between 2000 and 2006.
Regardless of whether your fridge freezer is involved in this safety notice or not, make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home, checking them regularly to make sure they work.
Our tests on smoke alarms revealed two Don't Buys that failed our safety tests. Find out which smoke alarms you should buy - see our smoke alarm reviews.
Why is there a fire risk with some Beko fridge freezers?
A fault was identified with the defrost timer, which can fail and overheat. The London Fire Brigade said the problem happens when water gets into the timer switch, which can lead to an electrical malfunction 'resulting in plastic components and other highly flammable insulation inside the appliance catching on fire'.
Fires involving any sort of fridge freezer develop rapidly and produce a large amount of toxic smoke.
Which Beko fridge freezer models are affected?
The safety alert specifically concerns certain Beko fridge freezers produced between January 2000 and October 2006. Standalone Beko fridges or freezers are not affected, and neither are newer fridge freezer models produced after 2006.
The London Fire Brigade is urging all Beko fridge freezer owners to see if their appliance is affected - the individual model numbers are listed below:
- CA 5411 FFS (silver), CA 5411 FFW (white), CA 5411 FFX (stainless steel)
- CA 7014 FFX (stainless steel)
- CA 7015 FFW (white), CA 7015 FFS (silver), CA 7015 FFX (stainless steel)
- CDA 539 FS (silver), CDA 539 FW (white), CDA 539 FX (stainless steel)
- CDA 543 FS (silver), CDA 543 FW (white), CDA 543 FX (stainless steel)
- CDA 645 FW (white)
- CDA 647 FS (silver), CDA 647FW (white)
- CDA 648 FS (silver), CDA 648FW (white)
- CDA 653 FS (silver), CDA 653FW (white), CDA 653FX (stainless steel)
- CDA 659 FS (silver)
- CDA 751 FS (silver), CDA 751 FX (stainless steel)
- CDA 752 FS (silver), CDA 752 FW (white), CDA 752 FX (stainless steel)
- CS 460 FF (white), CS 460 FFS (silver), CS 460 FFSD (stainless steel)
- CS 461 FFW (white), CS 461 FFS (silver)
- CSA 4706 FFX (stainless steel)
- CSB 4606 FFSD, CSB 4606 FFS (silver), CSB 4606 FFW (white)
If you need a new fridge freezer, then find out which models are the best in our fridge freezer reviews.
How do I know when my Beko fridge freezer was made?
You should look for your fridge freezer's serial number, found inside the fridge compartment, to see which year the appliance was manufactured.
If your model's serial number begins with 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 or 06, you should contact Beko.
Here's where to look for it:
I have one of the affected Beko fridge freezers. What should I do now?
You need to contact Beko immediately to ask what steps need to be taken, and to arrange a date for a Beko repairer to make a free-of-charge modification to your appliance's defrost timer. Beko says the work will take around 30 minutes.
- you can call Beko's helpline on 0800 009 4837 between 7am and 11pm, Monday to Friday
- alternatively, you can visit the Beko website and enter your model and serial number.
Could I invalidate my home insurance if I use a faulty Beko fridge freezer?
Because the safety risk is low, we think this would be unlikely. But it's best to check with your individual insurer if you're concerned that continuing to use your fridge freezer, knowing it has a fault, could invalidate your policy.
Have Which? tests picked up safety problems involving Beko fridge freezers?
We have tested several of the affected Beko fridge freezers, but did not experience any problems with the defrost timers that are linked to the fire risk.
This issue doesn't become apparent until after a few years of use. Beko believes the problem is caused by a 'combination of factors within the kitchen environment, such as humidity and air flow around the fridge freezer'.
If you want to know more about how Beko fridge freezers score in our tests, you can find out on our Beko fridge freezer brand page.
Is it true that Lec fridge freezers are also affected?
The discontinued white Lec TF2304W, manufactured between January 2004 and October 2006, features the same faulty defrost timer as the affected Beko models. Owners are being urged to contact Lec to arrange for a repairer to carry out a free modification. According to the company, this is the only Lec model affected.
You can call Lec on 0800 110 5728 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
What happened as a result of the fires?
One house fire, caused by a Beko fridge freezer, resulted in the death of a 36-year-old father of two, Santosh Benjamin Muthiah.
This led to an inquest in which the coroner made a number of recommendations to ensure greater protection for consumers. Among these was the recommendation that manufacturers could face a prison sentence if they fail to notify authorities of a fault.
How long had Beko known about the fridge freezer fault?
The inquest heard that Beko had been aware of a fault with some of its components in 2003 but had failed to take action to redress the problem.
Despite independent risk assessors confirming that some fridge freezers posed ‘a serious risk’ in 2008, Beko did not issue a safety notice at that time. Mr Muthiah’s death was in 2010. Affected products were not recalled by Beko until 2011.