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Danfoss warns UK public of fridge and freezer fire risk

THE Danfoss group is warning the public that domestic refrigerators and freezers with a Danfoss compressor produced in or before 1994 are a possible fire risk.
The global producer of components for cooling and heating says a Danfoss compressor with a starting device produced at this time is believed in some cases to generate a spark.

An investigation into the causes of domestic fires in Denmark was made early this year by the Danish safety authorities. There were indications in 35 cases in Denmark that a fire was caused by starting devices in Danfoss compressors produced in or before 1994.

'The conclusion was that plastic material used in the production of starting components on a certain type of compressor for refrigerators and freezers carries a risk of generating a spark' said Ole Daugbjerg, Danfoss chief of staff.

Tests by Danfoss technicians and a plastic specialist showed how the gradual decay of the plastic material used to produce the starting device at that time could generate a spark.

Having alerted Scandanavian countries in July and August, this month Danfoss took the step of warning the UK of the possible fire risk, as the recipient of a large quantity of this compressor type.

'It just so happened that we changed the plastic material used in 1994 for environmental purposes. We have contacted our customers OEMS and are looking to see which countries these compressors went to', said Torben Fich, project director for Danfoss.

Only compressors produced in or before 1994 and, consequently, only fridges and freezers purchased before such a time are affected. Danfoss is advising those with an old fridge/freezer to have a look at the back or inside to see if the compressor carries a yellow label with the Danfoss name. If it does, the owner can contact Danfoss to get a new starting component free of charge to eliminate the possible fire risk.

Danfoss believes that a small number of the compressors, produced at that time are still in use today. 'Old refrigerators and freezers stored in sheds and country cottages that are typically turned on after being switched off for long periods of time could be a source of concern', said Ole Daugbjerg. 'We know that humidity, which is often high in such places, can affect the starter and that this may cause it to generate a spark that could ignite a fire', he added. In this cases dust and cobwebs could be the flammable material that starts a fire.

Danfoss says they believe more than 90% of all such compressors were sold into European markets. Danfoss is still considering which countries have compressors with the mentioned starter still in use and may make more announcements to other European countries.

For more details contact www.danfoss.co.uk/compressorinfo or call the Danfoss UK Hotline on 0808 238 1499 or the Irish hotline on 1800 930260.

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