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Avoid using 'recalled' tumble dryers experts warn

Credit: Chelsea Garnham

The Electrical Safety First charity is warning homeowners to avoid using any electrical appliances that have been recalled.

It has made the appeal after some manufacturers advised customers that it was safe to use the products as long as they are not left unattended.

It follows a spate of fires across the region caused by faulty tumble dryers. In the most recent case a family from Guildford was left homeless after their dryer caught fire only weeks after the manufacturer had been contacted.

Susan Garnham from Guildford saw flames coming from the back of the tumble dryer. She left the property with her husband and son.

Fire and rescue investigators said the blaze started in the tumble dryer and spread throughout the property.

It has come to our attention that some manufacturers advise it is safe to use their products as long as they are supervised during operation.

We at Electrical Safety First do not share this view. If you have an appliance that has been recalled we advise you to stop using it until it has been inspected and declared safe to use by a manufacturer's engineer. It is simply not worth risking a fatality.

– Emma Apter, Head of Communications at Electrical Safety First

However, Whirlpool - which owns the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands - insisted that consumers can continue to use their tumble dryers, while waiting for a free modification.

There is a potential concern with two types of tumble dryers - the large air vented dryer and the condensing dryer - sold under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brand names between April 2004 and September 2015.

It said in some rare cases, excess fluff can come into contact with the heating element in the tumble dryer and present a risk of fire.

Credit: ITV News

Until the modification has been made for those that require it, as an extra precaution we are asking that consumers do not leave their dryers unattended during operation (i.e. do not leave the house or leave the dryer on whilst asleep).

They should also regularly clean the lint filter after every cycle and ensure proper venting, in accordance with the original instructions for use.

– Whirlpool statement

What to do if you think you are affected?

Anyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint or Creda dryer manufactured between April 2004 and October 2015 should check if their dryer is affected.

They can do this using the model checker on two bespoke websites we have created:

They are being asked to register for a free modification if it is on the list.

Alternatively customers can call a dedicated freephone helpline on 0800 151 0905.

For the repair programme, the company is working on a first registered, first served basis. This means that the earlier you register, the shorter you have to wait for a modification.

It is currently taking around 10 weeks to provide an estimated date for an engineer visit.

Given the large number of dryers affected, the company has experienced some delays in replying and have apologised for the inconvenience.

They have recruited and trained an additional 350 call centre employees, an increase of over 75%.

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