Indesit tumble dryer fire hazard
Tumble dryers manufactured by Indesit (including Hotpoint and Creda) manufactred between April 2004 and September 2015 could cause a fire.REUTERS/Tony Gentile

A significant number of tumble dryers manufactured by Indesit including the Hotpoint and Creda brands could cause potentially deadly fires due to a design flaw, the company has announced. Anyone with dryers made by one of the brands between April 2004 and September 2015 is being advised to check if they have purchased one of the models thought to pose a risk.

Some condensing dryers or large air-vented dryers are being advised to have their machines checked and repaired as excess fluff can on rare occasions become overheated when coming into contact with the heating element. The dryers can be used in the meantime so long as they are not left unattended. The lint filter should also be emptied following each cycle and instructions which came with the machine followed closely.

Some 30 million households in the UK own machines manufactured by Indesit, Whirlpool and Hotpoint but it is not yet clear how many are affected. A spokesman for Whirlpool, which purchased Indesit in 2014, said: "We estimate that a significant number of units will be affected, but at this stage, we cannot speculate regarding the specific figure. These products were marketed in the UK and a number of other countries over the past 11 years, so we would expect a fairly large number of them to be affected."

Anyone who believes they may have one of the at-risk models should visit the dedicated Whirlpool website at: http://safety.hotpoint.eu. They can also contact the company at: 0800 151 0905. Anyone who owns an affected model will be visited in their homes - free of charge - by an engineer who should be able to remedy the problem in an hour.

According to consumer watchdog Which?, faulty household appliances have caused around 12,000 fires in the UK in the last three years. Of these 14% were washing machines, 12% tumble dryers and 11% dish washers. Which? obtained the figures under the Freedom of Information Act.