A watchdog has called for plastic-backed fridges to be "urgently" removed from sale after finding they pose a fire risk and could even hasten the spread of a blaze.
Which? said an industry-wide investigation of more than 500 of the most popular refrigeration appliances on the market found that backing material on 45% of them was made of unsafe plastic which posed a potential fire risk.
The research also found that a number of models backed with plastic which manufacturers previously claimed was flame-retardant could speed up the spread of a fire, the consumer group said.
All plastic-backed fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers on the market pass existing safety standards but Which? said the tests were "inadequate, not fit for purpose and do not come close to replicating the source of a real house fire".
The current British Standard requires refrigeration appliances to pass a glow wire test to assess their fire resistance.