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Trevor Sterling: Beko fridge freezer fire fault: claims for compensation

Watching the news break during the week of July 4th, I was saddened to hear about the tragic loss of life at the Tower Block in Bermonsey due to a faulty fridge freezer.Fridge freezer manufacturer Beko has now accepted that a number of their fridge freezers manufactured between 2000 and 2006 have defects which can cause the fridge freezers to ignite, this was brought into sharp public focus by a recent fire in a flat and follows a spate of house fires which have led to significant damage and in some cases fatality.The London Fire brigade investigated a recent devastating fire in a Tower Block in Bermondsey, London. It had initially been thought that the fire was started by a lightning strike however investigations have revealed that the fire is likely to have begun as a result of a faulty Beko fridge freezer. It has now become apparent that concerns in relation to the fridge freezers were allegedly reported to Beko as long ago as June 2010 by the London Fire Brigade however there was no recall. Indeed Recall UK issued an alert to customers about the risks of Beko fridge freezers in April 2010, which was subsequently withdrawn following pressure by Beko.The defect relates to the defrost timer which controls the frost free function. Condensation gathers which allows water to seep into the timer, occasionally causing the component to fail and overheat resulting in fire. London Fire brigade report that as many as 20 fires may have been caused by the fridge freezer defect across the capital alone since 2008 and many more no doubt across the country.Beko have now issued a recall notice, the affected fridges will have been manufactured between January 2000 and October 2006 and have a serial number which begins 00, 01, 02,03,04,05 or 06.  Some 500 000 consumers are estimated to have been affected. It is of significant concern that the possible cause of so many fires, many of which have led to tragedy, has only now been made public. It is essential that steps are taken to ensure that this issue is resolved without delay and that where consumers have suffered loss and in particular personal injuries that they are properly compensated.At Russell Jones and Walker, our expert solicitors are involved in investigating faulty product claims (see our work on Sofa cases and faulty buggies) and are determined to ensure that any consumers who have sustained personal injuries and/or loss as a consequence of the Beko fridge freezer defect are properly compensated. If you require advice in relation to a personal injury claim please contact us (at no cost) for preliminary advice. Email t.d.sterling@rjw.co.uk

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