Fire warning to 500,000 fridge freezer ownersBeko fridge freezers linked to 20 London fires
05 July 2011
Beko fridge freezers have been linked to 20 fires which injured 15 people and killed one, it emerged today.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is urgently warning of a fire risk that could affect up to 500,000 Beko fridge freezers, following a tower block fire last week.
Fire investigators discovered that the fire in a tower block in Bermondsey, London, was caused by a faulty Beko fridge freezer, and not a lightning strike as first suspected.
The affected fridge freezers have so far been linked to 20 fires in London since 2008 - and these incidents are thought to have led to 15 injuries and one death.
Our Beko fridge freezer fire risk Q&A lists full details of the affected Beko fridge freezer models, and what steps you need to take.
Fridge freezer fire warning
Fires involving any sort of fridge freezer develop rapidly and produce a large amount of toxic smoke.
After fire investigators established a link to the fridge freezers, they worked with Beko to ensure the public is kept safe. However, the brigade urged everyone with a Beko fridge freezer to check it is not one of those highlighted by the company as potentially faulty.
Beko was formally warned by LFB in June 2010 of the link. Which? is today asking the company why it took over a year for it to make public its safety notice and whether it was aware of the problem earlier.
Beko faulty fridge freezers
The fault relates to a defrost timer, which can fail and overheat. LFB says 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'.
The fridge freezers affected were manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006 - thought to total up to half a million appliances.
Beko is urging customers to check their fridge freezer model number. If customers find they have one of the highlighted models, they should contact the company directly to arrange for a repairer to visit and make a free modification to the timer.
Martyn Hocking, editor of Which?, said: 'Beko has taken some steps to contact customers who have the affected models but we don't think it acted swiftly enough and more could have been done sooner to ensure all customers are protected; not just those it had contact details for.
'If you have a Beko fridge freezer that is five to 11 years old, check the model numbers below to see whether yours is affected. If it is, call Beko immediately to ask what steps need to be taken.'
You can call Beko's helpline on 0800 009 4837 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, with any queries, or visit the Beko website to check online whether your fridge freezer is affected.
Beko says it has tracked down and sent letters to 200,000 customers, and located and made modifications to 11,000 appliances so far.
Affected fridge freezer models
The Beko fridge freezer model numbers affected are:
CA 5411 FFS (silver)
CA 5411 FFW (white)
CA 5411 FFX (stainless steel)
CA 7014 FFX (stainless steel)
CA 7015 FFW (white)
CA 7015FFS (silver)
CA 7015FFX (stainless steel)
CDA 539 FS (silver)
CDA 539 FW (white)
CDA 539 FX (stainless steel)
CDA 543 FS (silver)
CDA 543FW (white)
CDA 543FX (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 751FX (stainless steel)
CDA 752 FS (silver)
CDA 752FW (white)
CDA 752FX (stainless steel)
CS 460 FF
CS 460 FFS (silver)
CS 460 FFSD
CS 461 FFW (white)
CS 461 FFS (silver)
CSA 4706 FFX
CSB 4606 FFSD
CSB 4606 FFS (silver)
CSB 4606 FFW (white)
You can check the serial number of your fridge freezer, found inside the fridge compartment, to find out 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.
Find out how to reject a faulty item with our free online consumer rights advice. Do you own a Beko fridge freezer? Did you receive a letter from Beko asking you to get in touch, or maybe the company has already modified your fridge freezer? Join the Beko fridge freezer debate on Which? Conversation.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide about how to use news feeds and newsreaders.
You can also follow @WhichHome on Twitter for the latest home appliance reviews and news.
Kitchen gadgets on test
Which? can help you kit out your kitchen - we've independently reviewed large and small appliances from the leading brands, at all price ranges, including:
- built-in ovens, cookers and hobs
- fridge freezers, dishwashers and microwave ovens
- coffee makers, kettles and toasters
You can read the results of our latest tests and see the products we recommend as Which? Best Buys, as well as the ones we don't.