Fridge Freezer Safety

Lately, there has been some talk about the safety of certain fridge freezers, mainly those with plastic backing. Which? has published an article connecting these appliances with the risk of fire, citing the possibility of the backing that protects the fridge’s insulation catching fire.

However, their research utilised a small sample of about 80 refrigeration appliances and consisted only of the application of a flame for 30 seconds to the back of the product. The backing itself was not the cause of a fire.

So, in this article, we’re discussing this subject and why you don’t have to worry about the safety of your fridge freezer!

safety of kitchen appliances, including fridge freezer

Why Plastic Backing?

Some appliances, such as certain fridges and fridge freezers, have plastic backs. Typically, fridges with metal backing tend to be more on the higher-end of the appliance scale, meaning that plastic backing can be found in less expensive fridges.

This is not to say that these fridges are low quality; on the contrary, they provide excellent value for money and are chosen by many consumers across the country because of this.

So, Should You Worry if Your Fridge Freezer Has Plastic Backing?


This is, of course, the short answer. The longer explanation is that while Which? determined that plastic backing is highly flammable when compared to other types of backing, like aluminium laminate and metal, they also go on to say that it’s not the material used in the backing that can cause a fire, but that it can allow for an existing fire to spread.

Which? also say that “only 8% of fires caused by faulty household appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridge or freezers”. In their own words, “consumers who already own a fridge freezer, fridge or freezer with a plastic back should be reassured that the likelihood of a refrigerator fire is very low”.

So why is this even being mentioned? Why is plastic backing being seen as ‘dangerous’? The answer to this is simple: fridge freezers, just like computers or cars, can overheat, which can cause issues in extreme cases.

Why Does Your Fridge Overheat?

Some of the most common causes for this are dust build-up and lack of proper ventilation.

If you’re not sure why your fridge freezer is overheating, always give it a thorough cleanse to remove any dust or dirt build-up, which may be causing the motor to work overtime to compensate for this. In addition, always make sure that your appliance is located in a place with good ventilation (don’t keep it completely against the wall, for example).

Another reason why your fridge freezer may overheat is that it’s too close to an external source of heat, which can exacerbate the issue. Ensure that there is no heat near the appliance at any time and there won’t be a problem either.


So, while some fridge freezers may have plastic backing, this doesn’t mean they will catch fire. On the contrary, just as you’d do with any other appliance, keep them away from heat sources and make sure they’re clean – this is more than enough to guarantee their (and your) safety.

We firmly believe that peace of mind is incredibly important when it comes to your appliances, so feel free to talk to us on 01264 367 708 about your fridge freezer, fridge or freezer and ask us any questions you wish. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you fear that your appliance is malfunctioning either – we can have it repaired ASAP!