Slovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje has said that it has “taken a stance” on plastic-backed cooling lines and appliances and will now only manufacture cooling products with aluminium flame-retardant backing in a move which hopefully other appliance brands will follow suit.
In September last year, consumer group Which? called on manufacturers to “reject inadequate current safety standards and immediately stop making non-flame retardant plastic-backed fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers” in the wake of the Grenfell tower block fire and the widening consumer safety issues surrounding home appliances.
Consumer group Which? also removed some 240 products from its recommended list, including dozens of its previously attained Best Buy-rated products, and added a new tool on its website to allow consumers to filter products by flame-retardant backing.
“This is a sensitive topic but one we shouldn’t fail to approach,” said Gorenje UK managing director Iztok Krulc. “Obviously this decision will have economical implications to the business, however, we want to reinforce our position as a responsible manufacturer, not just something superficial.
“All Gorenje appliances fitted with the aluminium backing will have a stronger level of flame-retardance and taking this action, we hope that other UK manufacturers will be encouraged to follow suit and do their bit for the consumers.”
He added: “With home safety being central to our research development process, this initiative can reassure our customers that caring for them and their families is of most importance to us and we’re not valuing style over substance.”
It is great to see Gorenje take this stance as sadly many big brands and not just enemy of the moment Whirlpool don’t place consumer safety above profit so just think about that before you put an appliance in your home that doesn’t have flame retardant backing because as in the case of Grenfell appliance fires are not limited to tumble dryers when only in use, but in this case a fridge/freezer was reported as the start of the blaze and these appliances are not turned off when you go to sleep at night.