Is your tumble dryer a fire risk? Half a million Whirlpool appliances recalled by Government

Kelly Tolhurst said the Government intended to serve a recall notice Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Around half a million Whirlpool tumble dryer owners in the UK have been told to unplug their devices immediately as the machines pose a potential fire risk.

Whirlpool faces an "unprecedented" order to recall the machines after the Government intends to serve a recall notice on hundreds of thousands of tumble dryers.

The call comes after millions of machines under its Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline brands were identified as requiring a fix to make them safe to operate.

Whirlpool has been made to recall some of its tumble dryers. Credit: AP

Business minister Kelly Tolhurst said consumer safety was a "government priority" as she revealed plans to recalls the unmodified appliances.

Whirlpool has urged any consumers with an unmodified machine to contact them.

A spokeswoman said: “Safety is our number one priority and we remain committed to resolving any affected tumble dryers that have not yet been modified.

“The crucial message to anyone who still owns an affected dryer and has not already had it modified by Whirlpool is to contact us immediately on 0800 151 0905.

“In the meantime, anyone with an affected dryer that has not been modified should unplug it and not use it until the modification has been completed.”

The government has been criticised over how long it has taken to serve Whirlpool with a recall notice.

In 2015, the company was issued with a safety warning after its Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit dryers had a fault making them a fire risk.

Over an 11-year period, they were blamed for causing at least 750 fires.

Rachel Reeves, chairman of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS), said: “The company’s modification of defective machines has proceeded at snail’s pace, leaving up to half-a-million unmodified and potentially unsafe tumble driers still in people’s homes.”

Consumer group Which? said the move was a "hugely significant step" but suggested modified machines should also have been included in the recall.

The consumer group’s head of campaigns, David Chaplin, said: “But there will be serious questions if this recall only addresses the 500,000 unmodified machines that Whirlpool has already struggled to locate.

“The Government must urgently explain what it is going to do about the millions of modified machines still in people’s homes, following serious concerns that have been raised by people who have experienced fires, smoke and burning despite the so-called fix.”

A review by the OPSS found a low risk of harm or injury from modified machines and recommended consumers could continue using them.