Fire chiefs are warning families of a potential hazard in the kitchen after certain models of Beko fridge freezers were blamed for a spate of house fires.
Around 500,000 units are believed to be in homes and owners are being urged to check model numbers amid a recall to see if it is one of those highlighted by Beko as being potentially affected.
London Fire Brigade has pinpointed a link between a series of blazes and a Beko product after a tower block inferno in Bermondsey, South East London, last week. Investigators yesterday revealed a dodgy defroster timer was the cause of around 20 fires in London alone.
They found water was seeping into the timer and as it shut down, it *overheated, resulting in a fire.
Fire brigade figures show 15 people have been injured and one person killed following fridge-freezer fires. An inquest has yet to give the cause of death.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman warned: “Fires involving any sort of fridge freezer develop rapidly and produce an enormous amount of toxic smoke. We would also urge everyone to make sure they have a working smoke alarm in their house.”
Fire bosses alerted Beko to the danger in June 2010 and the company has issued recall notices to all of its customers.
Models manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006 may be affected, Beko said. A spokeswoman added: “It was confirmed in December 2010 that certain models of Beko frost-free fridge freezers may, in some circumstances, fail and overheat.
“We have contacted all retailers who sold these products to seek their help in *identifying affected customers.”