As certified fire investigators, we conduct RV fire investigations throughout the USA and abroad. Over the years we have conducted hundreds of RV fire investigations that were directly the result of the refrigerator. Having worked with both Dometic and Norcold we have found that Norcold consistently steps up to the plate and does the right thing for the injured parties, while Dometic takes a hard position. Some of Dometic’s stubbornness may be warranted due to fraudulent claims and coils that were reconditioned by other companies and then reinstalled in the Dometic refrigerator. Our company has conducted joint destructive testing on Dometic refrigerators with Dometic when we have represented the insurance company and owner, and through SEM testing there was clear and convincing evidence of weld failures.
What is most disturbing is that most of the refrigerator fires were not on any recall list. Do not rely totally on what is stated.
Another area of concern that most people do not consider is the real loss and what you may recover. We have represented numerous owners of RVs when the dollar amount of the loss exceeds the dollars paid by the insurance company. What so many owners fail to understand is that an insurance company will only pay what they are obligated to pay under the policy and that amount seldom covers all personal items. When this happens you have to have your own investigation. Insurance company investigations are the property of the insurance company.
Having conducted death case RV fires and examining what could be done to save a life it appears that multiple working smoke detectors may be the best defense. At this time the refrigerator failure issue has not been resolved and the fix is supposed to shut the unit down automatically before a fire develops.