Keeping your kitchen fire-safe is crucial because it’s the most likely place for a fire to originate in your home. According to the London Fire Brigade, around 60% of house fires start in the kitchen.
Cooker hoods, the extractor fans that suck in humidity and grease from the air while you cook, can come into contact with fire quite easily because of their position above the hob.
One of the most common causes of house fires – chip pans – can cause flames to touch your cooker hood. Flames from frying pans can do this too. If left unattended, these flames can be sucked into your cooker hood’s vent and reach the components inside.
That’s why your cooker hood’s air ducts and its interior components need to be sufficiently fire resistant.
Industry standards are in place to protect us from consumer goods that aren’t adequately resistant to common fire hazards like these. But our testing has shown that some cooker hoods sold by major brands don’t meet these standards.
Find a cooker hood that passed our fire safety tests by reading our cooker hood reviews.
The cooker hoods that failed our fire safety tests
We’ve just published Don’t Buy reviews for four cooker hoods. All contained a component which didn’t meet the industry standards for safety when exposed to a flame in our test lab.
Why did the cooker hoods fail our fire safety tests?
We test cooker hoods to the relevant British Standards Institution (BSI) standards. These are created by experts to ensure that manufacturers make their products safe and suitable for consumers.
To quote the BSI, a standard is ‘a statement of good practice, designed to make things better, safer and more efficient’.
As a part of our cooker hood testing, we perform fire safety tests outlined in the relevant standards (BS EN 60335-2-21:2014 and BS EN 60335-1:2012+A2:2019).
In our test lab, the plastic components in the interior of the cooker hood had to extinguish within 30 seconds of being in contact with a needle flame for them to meet these standards. In all of the cooker hoods listed above, one component burned for too long.
In accordance with the standard, we tested each of the cooker hoods twice and this happened both times.
See how to buy the best smoke alarm for advice on protecting your home from fires.
What AEG and Hisense told us
Both AEG and Hisense disagreed with our test lab findings.
AEG told us ‘We have tested multiple samples of these products, all of which passed the tests according to the standards without failure. These reports have been shared with Which?. Based on the test results, we are satisfied that these products are safe.
‘We treat product safety as our number one priority and any notification of a possible fire risk is investigated thoroughly.’
Hisense told us ‘The safety of our customers is paramount, and we take these findings very seriously. All components in our appliances are inspected and rigorously tested before being used in the manufacturing process.
‘We can confirm that following further tests carried out, these components met, and fully complied with, all safety regulations.’
AEG and Hisense have not issued recalls for these products.
Keep yourself safe by reading our product safety guidance.